Harvard revoked the admission of 10 students (see here) based on what the students said in a private (can't have been too private) chat room.
(ADDED later upon reflection- Harvard has only confirmed that there is a clause students are made
aware of about immaturity and moral character. As for the reason for the revoking- we only have
what is reported and that comes from the students. Are the students trustworthy on this? Given that they are being expelled for moral reasons... But more seriously we really don't' know. I just want to caution that we do not know the full story and never will. Note that Harvard is not legally allowed to disclose why they revoked, while the students can say what they want. For an example of how off a reported story can be see this though I am sure you all know other examples.)
Normally I would be aghast (and I may still be aghast) because of the slippery slope:
Today you revoke admissions because students mock sexual assault, the Holocaust, and the death of children, and call the hypothetical hanging of a Mexican child ``pinata time''
Tomorrow you revoke admissions because a student is a Trump Supporter. (Readers: I assume that you would find revoking admission because a student is a Trump supporter to be disgusting and absurd.)
I felt strongly against this and sought out some other viewpoints. Here are some:
1) Harvard is within their rights to do this legally according to what they agree to when they accept you. This is true. This is also irrelevant- I am interested in if its the right thing to do, not if its legal.
2) The content of the chat rooms indicates a lack of moral character. This is a stronger argument. However the nebulousness of ``moral character'' reminds me of the origin of taking moral character into account: it was an excuse to let in less Jews (see the book t Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, see The Chosen: The hidden history of admissions and exclusion a review here). Jews do not have less moral char, but it was used as an excuse to admit less of them. Even though in the case at hand moral char is a legit issue, the history of the use of this issue bothers me. Slippery slope again.
3) For crying out loud bill, LIFE is a Slippery Slope! You have to draw the line somewhere! And wherever you draw it, these kids are over that line. This argument, combined with the moral-point of item 2, I do find compelling.
4) Here is a one border (I do not know if it was crossed): If a student personally attacks another student then this is grounds for revoking. Sounds good but what constitutes a personal attack?
Counter argument: : Whenever a disgusting point of view is censored or punished the conversation shifts from
That is a disgusting point of view
Free Speech! Oppressing unpopular views!
I would rather the conversation be about why the point of view is wrong (or disgusting) rather than on Free Speech.
Right now I am 75% against the revoking of the students admissions. This has no effect- I am not in any position of power, I won't give less money to Harvard (I am an alum-Grad school, which is why I noticed the story in the first place). I find the question interesting and, more than usual, welcome your comments. Based on your comments that 75 might change! In either direction!