The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

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May 10, 2009

Reaction of students mixed in GCC porn star case

GROVE CITY — EDITOR’S NOTE: An abbreviated version of this story was published Saturday. The full version being printed today appeared in Saturday’s edition of our sister twice-weekly newspaper, Allied News of Grove City.

Former Grove City College student John Gechter will never forget his experience at the third-most conservative campus in America.

Given that distinction by U.S. News and World Report, the college is strict in its policies: Co-eds are not allowed in each other’s dormitories after a certain hour; attending church services is a requirement of graduation; and walking on the grass is highly frowned upon.

So when it was discovered through an anonymous e-mail April 23 that Gechter, 22, acted in gay pornography, the Philadelphia native’s life was turned upside down.

GCC officials decided to indefinitely suspend Gechter for one year after an April 27 meeting, one of many he had with college administrators. GCC ruled that Gechter could seek re-admission in one year, but only if he ceased acting in pornography.

Gechter appealed that decision but the ruling was upheld by an appeals board comprised of faculty and students.

Gechter was about to make his final appeal to the provost when he struck a deal with GCC late Tuesday.

“(GCC) offered me a deal that if I withdrew, they would let me transfer a few courses that I need to graduate,” Gechter explained. “I’ll be able to transfer those credits to GCC and I will still graduate with a GCC degree.”

Gechter’s tenure at GCC officially ended on May 5 after he withdrew from the college. He said he plans to move to New York City in the next few weeks, where he will be headlining a play, “Love for Sale,” and also be taking his two bio-chemistry courses this summer.

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