Program Board to pay $13,000 to bring Porn Debate, featuring Ron Jeremy, to campus



Central Michigan University's Program Board has agreed to pay $13,000 to bring the "Great Porn Debate" to campus, featuring porn star Ron Jeremy and anti-porn pastor Craig Gross.

The free and public event is scheduled for Feb. 19 and will take place in Platcha Auditorium. The program is one of a variety of programs Program Board will sponsor in February focused on sexual awareness.

Jeremy has acted in more than 2,000 adult films and has directed more than 280 adult titles. He is ranked the top porn star of all time by Adult Video News, an adult industry trade journal.

Gross is the founder of www.XXXchurch.com, a non-profit religious-based organization focused on helping individuals who struggle with pornography addiction. They have sparked debate within the Christian community for their tactics, including passing out Bibles with the description "Jesus Loves Porn Stars" at porn conventions nationwide.

Program Board officials said they are sponsoring the event as a means to bring diverse ideas to campus.

“Jeremy has a different opinion,” Program Board Vice President Mark Fairbrother told CM Life earlier this month. "He has such an interesting track record; he’s going to champion ideas that are different. We want to bring issues like this into the light.”

Still, there has been debate within the student community on the value of bringing Ron Jeremy to campus.

Rachel McDaniel, president of Voices For Planned Parenthood, told CM Life earlier this month that the debate strikes her as little more than superficial.

“I think it could be quite an interesting and intellectual conversation if it involved anyone worth hearing from,” the Allegan senior said. “I’m tired of hearing the same old arguments focused on religion and male porn stars. ‘Yes or no’ debates only get so far, and they barely scratch the surface of the topic, especially when it concerns such a complex topic as pornography.”

Other students said the debate is an opportunity to raise rarely discussed issues.

Shannon McWaters, a Dorr sophomore, said she is looking forward to the debate and conversation.

"(I'm excited) to hear both sides," McWaters said. "I honestly don't see this pastor having any intellectual arguable points that don't inevitably lead to an argument on religion. Porn is purely functional and it is a business. The only point I think the pastor could possibly make is one about porn addiction. Addiction to anything is bad for individual health and I think it should be helped."

The Condom Casino Tour, an additional sex-themed event sponsored by Program Board, will arrive on campus Feb. 26.


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