College Student Suspended for Working in Gay Porn
According to the school's student handbook, "Premarital sex, heterosexual or homosexual, or any other such conduct that violates historical Christian standards" is subject to disciplinary action.
DeSalvo was charged with three sanctions, according to an official letter he received: sexual misconduct,participating in a public display of pornography, and having been engaged in conduct that is contrary to the mission and values of Grove City College and likely to bring dishonor to the college and acting in a way inconsistent with college values.
DeSalvo began his adult work late in his sophomore year, two years ago.
"When I first came to Grove City, I was pressed for money and I worked four jobs trying to make ends meet," he said. "Money was always an issue as I tried to keep my head above water. Then I started modeling, which earned me significant money."
While working as a model, he was offered work in gay porn, which paid more than mainstream modeling. For the last two years, he attended classes at Grove City during the week before flying to Los Angeles, Miami or Chicago on weekends to shoot the 15 scenes he has done.
"I'd fly out on Friday, shoot, then fly back on Sunday," DeSalvo said. "I've paid my entire way through school and, truth is, if I didn't do porn, I wouldn't be able to [go to school]."
College administrators discovered DeSalvo's extracurricular activities on April 24.
"A student on campus was browsing inappropriate content online and recognized me on a website," DeSalvo said. "He copied and pasted some images and sent an e-mail to some friends. GCC is a pretty small school, so the email spread like wildfire."
He met with college officials that day and confirmed that it was him in the images and that he knew it was a violation of school policies.
On April 27, DeSalvo was informed that he would be suspended indefinitely for one year. He can return in the fall of 2010 to finish his degree if he is no longer working in the adult industry.
DeSalvo appealed the sanctions. The appeals board, composed of faculty and students, voted on Monday to sustain the sanctions. DeSalvo said Tuesday he was taking the school's internal appeals process to the next level, a review by the provost of the college.
DeSalvo said he was disappointed by the school's reaction, adding that he was "not going down without a fight," and added that the response from his peers upset him even more. The majority of students were hostile toward him once the news broke, he said.
"I received about 150 hate mails from students, which surprised me," he said. "Students were the first ones to condemn and judge me, and I was really saddened by their response.
"There were some students who supported me, but I could count them on one hand," DeSalvo added. "A lot of my friends look at me differently now."
DeSalvo said he hasn't consistently attended class since he appealed the indefinite suspension.
"I did have apprehension going on campus since I get many looks and stares," he said. "Hate mail is bad, but what if a bigoted prejudiced group want to do something worse?"
DeSalvo said he didn't think his work as a porn performer would have caused such an uproar on campus.
"I've been in porn for two years and only now are people finding out," he said.