VERIFY: Memes can kick you out of college

Verify: Can posting memes get you kicked out of college?

SPOKANE, Wash. – You might recall the video circulating around Facebook titled: "Posting memes can get you kicked out of university."

The video said at least 10 prospective students of Harvard University had their offers of admission revoked after administrators learned the students were posting obscene memes and images to a spinoff Facebook page.

We verified this did happen after finding the Washington Post's report on the incident.  We also set out to verify what our area colleges and universities would do in a similar situation.

We talked to six major colleges and universities in Washington state and Idaho, asking each of these institutions about their policies for admissions and if inappropriate posts to social media would affect a student's admittance to their school.

The University of Idaho and Central Washington University said they do not revoke admission, except for a student being a direct personal threat or if a currently enrolled student violates conduct polices.

The University of Washington said its offer of admission is always conditional and can be rescinded for a variety of reasons. Regarding social media, UW says a student's letter of acceptance could be withdrawn if the posts create concern for student safety. 

Western Washington University said it too will revoke a student's admission depending on whether the inappropriate content posted to social media violates University policies, state or federal law.

Washington State spokesperson Robert Strenge said if the student is enrolled, the university would pursue disciplinary action, which may include expulsion if a student's social media posts were considered harassment against another student or violates student conduct policies.

Gonzaga University representatives said the college reserves the right to withdraw admission if there is a "change in standing" within the community. Director of Public Relations May Joan Hahn said this can certainly apply to any disciplinary issue regarding social media.

We can verify that U of I and CWU will not rescind an acceptance letter over inappropriate social media posts.  We can also verify that the rest of these institutions will in fact withdraw their offers or at least look into the situation.

We also reached out to Eastern Washington University for their response to our question, but we have not yet received a reply. When we do, we'll have that information posted on KREM.com

Verify Sources

  • University of Washington: Victor Balta, Director of News and Information
  • Gonzaga University: Mary Joan Hahn, Director of Public Relations
  • Washington State University: Robert Strenge, WSU Spokesperson
  • Western Washington University: Paul Cocke, Director of Communications
  • Central Washington University: Linda Schactler, VP of Public Affairs
  • University of Idaho: Jodi Walker, Director of Communications

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© 2017 KREM-TV


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