Ron Jeremy and Craig Gross Debate in Wisconsin

from – Sex and porn were the buzzwords around campus on Wednesday when porn star Ron Jeremy and pastor Craig Gross debated the ethics of pornography.

About 900 UW-Oshkosh students, faculty and staff, and community members went to Reeve Union to attend the debate.

Jeremy is one of the most well-known and respected men in the adult film business.

After getting his start in 1979, Jeremy has had a role in about 1,800 pornographic films. In fact, Jeremy currently holds the record in the Guinness Book of World Records for “Most Appearances in Adult Films.”

Jeremy is not strictly acting, though.

He has also directed, produced and written more than 100 films.

Gross is a pastor and author from California. When Gross first began his ministry, he realized a lot of people struggled with pornography.

After looking into the problem, he created, a Web site dedicated to helping porn and sex addicts recover.

Since starting the site, more than half a million people began using X3watch, an accountability software available for download on the site.

Besides managing the site and touring, Gross is also the author of three books about this issue.

Gross’ work has sparked much interest among the public. He has been featured in GQ magazine, The New York Times, CNN and many other major news sources.

Before the debaters took to the podium, the crowded Reeve ballroom was full of anxious chatter. Everyone seemed excited to hear what these two experts in their field had to say.

Members of the Speaker Series Committee got the crowd pumped up by throwing Frisbees and other free merchandise into the audience.

As Gross and Jeremy took the stage, the audience quieted and eagerly directed their attention to the stage.

The debate started with Gross giving his opening monologue.

He addressed some of the biggest problems with porn, including how it degrades women and how children can easily view it.

“The porn industry can do so much more to protect porn from being seen,” Gross said. “Over 30 percent of the traffic to porn sites is people under 18.”

Gross also brought up how porn is getting more kinky, vulgar, and offensive and how women are degrading themselves in even more ways and dirtier sexual acts are being performed.

“They have a porn dictionary that’s out now because they’re doing so much that’s pushing the envelope,” Gross said.

Then Jeremy gave his opening speech.

“We’re all adults here,” Jeremy said.

Jeremy put down what Gross said about pornography degrading women by explaining women’s role in the industry.

“The majority of the industry is run by women,” he said.

Jeremy continued by saying that women are finding empowerment and making money through pornography.

He gave examples of women who have become millionaires and are perfectly content with working in the industry.

He also said that the porn industry is taking measures to prevent children from seeing porn.

“In the last five or six years, we’ve had the technology to put porn on cell phones, but we haven’t,” Jeremy said.

After they each had a chance for their opening monologues, Jeremy and Gross moved on to questions and answers from the audience.

The audience brought up questions regarding children watching pornography, pornography addiction, the effect porn has on women and education about the dangers of pornography, etc.

According to David Rathsack, chairman of the Speaker Series Committee that organized the debate, Oshkosh students expressed interest in this debate, and that’s why they brought it to campus.

“We do a survey on what type of topics students are interested in,” Rathsack said.

Rathsack explained that, based on these survey results, they choose what speakers will come to campus the following year.

The survey showed that many students were intrigued by the pornography debate, and the buzz began at the start of the school year.

“Right away at Taste of Oshkosh I heard people talking about it,” Rathsack said.

The interest became even more abundantly clear once tickets went on sale.

“The ballroom (was) sold out,” Rathsack said.

The debate caught Oshkosh freshman Zac Wright’s interest right away.

“I thought it would be an interesting chance to see someone argue for and against the porn industry,” Wright said. “I think it will enlighten me to both sides of the issue.”

Wright and other students thought that this was a prevalent topic in today’s society.

“Our culture puts such a negative connotation on sex and the pornography industry as a result of that,” Wright said.

Since all the tickets to the Reeve ballroom, which holds about 700 people, were sold during the presale, the committee decided to create a back-up plan.

They broadcasted live video feed of the debate in another room on the third floor of Reeve. This allowed for up to 900 people instead of the original 700.

“This is the first time we’re trying [the video feed],” Rathsack said. “The tech crew was upstairs last week to make sure it worked.”

After all the planning that went into this debate, Rathsack said they were prepared for just about anything.

The Speaker Series Committee is hoping that this topic will be both interesting and informative for students.

“Our goal is that students see things in a new light,” Rathsack said.

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