Harvard has rescinded their acceptance of conservative activist Kyle Kashuv, a survivor of the 2019 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, to its 2023 undergraduate class.
In a Twitter thread Monday morning, Kashuv explained to his 300,000 followers that he believed his potential classmates had pressured the university to cancel his admittance after news reports emerged of derogatory remarks Kashuv wrote in text messages and a study document when he was 16.
When those reports first broke Kashuv issued a statement saying he was “embarrassed,” but contended he had matured in the years since the remarks had been made. Kashuv added that surviving the shooting at his high school, which killed 17 of his classmates and teachers, had transformed him.
“After the story broke, former peers & political opponents began contacting Harvard urging them to rescind me,” Kashuv wrote. Kashuv shortly thereafter received a letter from the university alerting him that they had the right to cancel his previous admittance and asked for a full explanation of his remarks within 72 hours.
Kashuv responded to the head of admissions with a two-page letter further explaining the situation, how he has matured since he made the derogatory statements, and why he believed he would still make a valuable addition to the Harvard community.
5/ I responded to the letter with a full explanation, apology, and requested documents. pic.twitter.com/yWd6FeKWOJ
— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) June 17, 2019
The conservative activist also reached out to the university’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion to begin a conversation about how he could expand his outreach to minority communities.
Despite this correspondence, Harvard sent Kashuv a letter on June 3 informing him the university had decided to withdraw his acceptance after an admissions committee vote. Kashuv linked to requests to meet with admissions officials for a further explanation of why the decision had been made and whether or not there was anything he could do or exhibit to change the decision. But the university declined all requests.
“Throughout its history, Harvard’s faculty has included slave owners, segregationists, bigots and antisemites,” Kashuv tweeted, rounding out his thread on the decision. “If Harvard is suggesting that growth isn’t possible and that our past defines our future, then Harvard is an inherently racist institution. But I don’t believe that.”
The conservative activist, who has used his national platform to defend the Second Amendment and advocate for stronger school safety measures, said he is exploring all options about his next steps.
“In the end, this isn’t about me, it’s about whether we live in a society in which forgiveness is possible or mistakes brand you as irredeemable, as Harvard has decided for me.”
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