Campus controversy: Former porn actor gets a rise out of Pasadena citizens

Apparently Mercer’s not the only one with controversial speakers coming to their campuses.
Professor Hugo Schwyzer, invited James Deen, a 26-year-old porn actor to speak in his class on March 6 at Pasadena City College.
According to Huffington Post, “The event was originally scheduled as a public lecture but administrators stepped in and made the event private, admitting only students enrolled in the class of the professor who organized it.”
Not unlike the responses several professors had over the invitation of Erick Erickson for this year’s Founder’s Day, Schwyzer has received significant criticism from feminist groups, including a recently created Facebook page called, “Feminists Against Hugo Schwyzer” that has over 800 likes.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Pasadena City College said Schwyzer did not follow the proper protocol involved to obtain a facilities usage permit that is required of all public events — backing their decision to make the event closed to the public. Their statement also made note of concerns about anticipated protesters.
Luckily enough for Mercer’s community, we did not have active protestors of the Founder’s Day event.
Those who wanted to say something got the chance to speak to Erickson. Those who did not approve of his message did not attend. And the overall event went over quite successfully — well, with the exception of the attitude he expressed in his RedState.com blog entitled ‘Peddling Tolerance,’ but that’s beside the point.
Ramon Miramontes, a Pasadena Unified School District Board Member and a professor at Southwest College, said he was “flabbergasted” by Pasadena’s decision to make the event private.
The Pasadena Star News continued to report, “The bigger question is just because people in the public don’t agree who the speaker is they don’t have a right to shortchange the educational experience of the students, and they also don’t have the right to infringe on the academic rights of the teachers,” Miramontes said.
“This is ridiculous. This is an institution of higher learning.”
Schwyzer agrees with Miramontes and disputes the assertion made by the college that he did not follow proper protocol.
He also added that he has received “a whopping three phone calls and five emails in the past 24 hours from protesters, which is not unusual,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
I’d like to note the tone of sarcasm Schwyzer used in his response. Obviously this man thinks that all of the attention that this event he decided to plan is getting a little out of hand.
The Huffington Post goes on to say that Schwyzer “is no stranger to controversy.
He has blogged about his drug and alcohol addiction during the first five years he taught at PCC. He admits that he tried to kill his ex-girlfriend and himself, and he had sexual relationships with many of his students.”
I’m not condoning any of this man’s behavior, but he sure does have guts.
The class that Schwyzer invited Deen to is a class that takes an interdisciplinary look at America’s great obsession: pornography.
He teaches the class from multiple perspectives — those who are critical and celebratory.
All the man wanted was to share a different perspective from someone who is involved with the industry.
Deen’s presence on campus might be felt but would be rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
At least that’s how it was at Mercer. Once word got out that Erick Erickson was some really controversial character, people started talking.
About one week after Erickson left, no one has really even mentioned him. It’s like it never happened.
Everyone got their free shirt so there is nothing to really complain about. Maybe Schwyzer should just give extra credit and that would shut everyone up.
Although by the sound of it, I don’t think he is concerned.
At the end of the Huffington Post article, the writer included a tweet by Deen; “I somehow accidentally pissed off hundreds of people with the mere mention of my presence. I am proud. See you tomorrow Pasadena.”
Somehow, I think Erickson and Deen would be really good friends…or not, considering Erickson is conservative and probably abhors pornography. You never really know.