Ryan Chartrand

A controversial pornography debate is coming to Cal Poly today, featuring adult film star Ron Jeremy and anti-pornography pastor Craig Gross. The Associated Students Inc. (ASI) hosted event will begin at 8 p.m. in Chumash Auditorium, as the first installment in an experimental “True Life” series on campus.

Jeremy and Gross will discuss the merits of pornography and related issues, while encouraging audience participation. The two are traveling to colleges and universities on a nationwide tour.

“We’re trying to provide the opportunity for students to educate themselves on controversial topics,” ASI Events student manager Grant Zanini said.

Jeremy grew up in New York and earned a master’s degree from Queens College before becoming a special education teacher. He has since been in almost 1,000 adult films, and even appears in the Guinness Book of World Records for, “Most Appearances in Adult Films,” according to The Internet Movie Database Web site.

A film was even made about Jeremy’s life in 2001, entitled, “Pornstar: The Legend of Ron Jeremy.” The documentary received surprisingly good reviews from papers like The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and Entertainment Weekly, according to its Web site.

Gross runs an anti-pornography ministry, and has become a regular fixture at pornography conventions to hand out copies of the Bible with an alternative cover proclaiming, “Jesus Loves Porn Stars.” Gross and his friend Mike Foster set out in 2002 to help people overcome the dual temptations of pornography and masturbation to bring them to God.

Gross and Foster have even created the Web site www.xxxChurch.com, provocatively titled the, “No. 1 Christian Porn Site,” because it covers a number of issues related to pornography and how it affects people. Gross says it is just one of the unconventional measures it takes to reach people today, according to an ASI press release.

The debate is part of a new direction ASI is taking in an effort to get bigger acts on campus and bring a wider variety of events.

If the pornography debate goes over well, ASI hopes to bring a second installment of “True Life” to campus during winter quarter. They are tentatively planning to get Jodie Sweetin, who played Stephanie on the early ’90s family sitcom, “Full House,” to tell her story about becoming a methamphetamine and alcohol addict after shooting to stardom at a young age.

“We’re not trying to make anyone mad,” Zanini said, “we want to bring real-life stuff to students that they probably wouldn’t normally see.”

Admission is free to students with a PolyCard, and $5 for general admission. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and seating is limited.

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