Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Harvard withdraws students admissions over offensive memes on Facebook

At least ten students have reportedly lost the opportunity of attending Harvard College after posting “obscene memes” to a private Facebook chat, the main Harvard student newspaper says.

The memes shared as part of a private Facebook chat, included jokes about paedophilia, child abuse, sexual assault, and the Holocaust.

Two of the incoming students agreed with the decision as they didn’t have the right response for such behaviour.

However, at least two Harvard professors, however, questioned the decision to withdraw the offers.

Alan Dershowitz, an emeritus professor at Harvard Law School, told the Guardian that losing admission to Harvard was a “draconian punishment” for “very bad taste jokes that students were sending to each other”.

“It sounds like Harvard is intruding too deeply into the private lives of students,” he said.

“It may affect them for life,” Dershowitz added.

Another professor, Harvey C Mansfield, also told the Guardian he questioned the decision. “The bounds of what is offensive have been extended and distorted, and I no longer trust the bent judgment of politically correct enforcers.”

A spokeswoman for Harvard University, Rachael Dane, declined to comment on the report. “We do not comment publicly on the admissions status of individual applicants,” she wrote in an email.

The official Facebook page for students admitted to join the Harvard Class of 2021 warns students that “Harvard College reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission under various conditions including if an admitted student engages in behavior that brings into question his or her honesty, maturity, or moral character”.

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