when the university of harvard welcomed its incoming freshmen (first year students) last week, at least 10 students who planned to start with the others were not there. what happened?
according to samantha schmidt at the washington post, early this year, the students of harvard’s class of 2021 (this year’s freshmen) started a messaging group to share memes. these types of groups
have been popping up at the campuses of harvard, columbia, princeton, penn, yale and dartmouth, as well as the university of california berkeley and others.
mork & mindy, starring robin williams as mork (left), was a spinoff of happy days.
from the original messaging group, a second group formed to share darker, more offensive memes. schmidt reported that
the spinoff group exchanged memes and images “mocking sexual assault, the holocaust and the deaths of children,” sometimes directing jokes at specific ethnic or racial groups, the harvard crimson reported. one message “called the hypothetical hanging of a mexican child ‘piñata time’.”
in the passion of jesus, after betraying jesus, judas hanged himself.
eventually (after a while, NOT sometimes like eventualmente in spanish), adminstrators at harvard became aware of the spinoff group
university officials caught on. and in mid-april, after administrators discovered the offensive, racially charged meme exchanges, at least 10 incoming students who participated in the chat received letters informing them that their offers of admission had been revoked.
catch on means learn or find out. revoke means cancel. had been revoked is past perfect passive. past perfect is used because schmidt is talking about an event (the letters revoking admission being received) that was completed in the past (april of this year). passive voice is used because the harvard admistrators who made the decision are implied but not directly mentioned.
this meme looks ugly, isn’t really funny and cost some teenager the opportunity to attend harvard. (thetab.com)
the headline of the article uses a different verb to describe the university’s decision
Harvard withdraws 10 acceptances for ‘offensive’ memes in private group chat
withdraw is the same idea as revoke, and there is a third alternative used in the article as well. schmidt explains
the university’s decision to rescind the students’ acceptance to harvard underscores the dangers of social media posts — public or private — among prospective college students.
rescind is the same as withdraw and revoke. underscore means emphasize.
for better or worse is a traditional vow at christian weddings. this usage means in good or bad times.(rocknrollbride.com)
yariv alpher, executive director of research at kaplan test prep, a company that helps students prepare for college entrance exams, made this observation about the importance of social media in the college admissions process
for better or worse, social media has become an established factor in college admissions, and it’s more important than ever for applicants to make wise decisions
for better or worse means it’s reality if we like it or not. wise means intelligent.
a quote from the french-algerian absurdist philosopher
what was the reaction to harvard’s decision?
the repercussions spurred both praise and criticism from harvard students, alumni and others at a time when university campuses across the country are in the midst of clashes over free speech. some felt the decision was justified, while others expressed a belief that admissions officers crossed a line
repercussions are consequences. spur means provoke. praise is positive words, the opposite of criticism. alumni are graduates of a school. in the midst of means in the middle of, right now. cross the line is used to say that harvard’s decision was excessive. a clash is a confrontation. and also this iconic band from the punk era
what do u think? was it a good decision for harvard to revoke the admission of students because of offensive memes? share your opinion under leave a reply