8/10/18 150 Anniversary banners, Elliott

Banners on Elliott Hall of Music celebrate Purdue's 150th anniversary.

Update: This article was updated to include an update on the status of Gross' payment for Saturday night's show.

Purdue University is receiving a full refund on Gross' performance on the closing night of Boiler Gold Rush, says Tim Doty, Purdue director of public information and issues management.

"We asked for and are receiving a full refund of the performer’s fees," Doty said via email.

The refund will be coming from the comedian's booking agency, Funny Business, according to a Journal & Courier article.

According to accounts by Boiler Gold Rush participants, the sexual nature of performer Andy Gross' set was met with disgust and condemnation by students.

"Well all of the BGR teams were in (Elliott) for the closing ceremonies," said Matthew Byrn, a freshman in Exploratory Studies, through messages. "They highlighted some things from the week including (four) speeches regarding free zone.

"Then they brought on Andy Gross."

Performer Andy Gross was invited to the Boiler Gold Rush closing ceremony.

"(At first) it was fine," said another freshman present at the ceremony. "They showed a tape of him going around with half his body cut off and he pulled a bowling ball out of a piece of paper."

The freshman did not wish to be named due to being uncomfortable with the situation. The student stated that the act was followed by Gross asking for a volunteer from the crowd. A BGR team leader supervisor was first picked for the act.

"He brought her up and kept making her step closer to him," Byrn said. "Then when she was inches away from him he joked about getting an erection saying “let me out let me out!” (Referring to his genitals)."

Multiple accounts by witnesses state that Gross then had the supervisor go back-to-back with him and made her place her hand on his leg. Those in the room also stated that he made jokes concerning Matt Lauer. Lauer is a former NBC television news anchor who was fired from the network due to sexual assault allegations.

"He then purposely failed the card trick and said 'Well, at least I got a free feel up out of it,'” said Jeff Terpstra, a sophomore in the Krannert School of Management and a BGR Team Leader, via a message exchange. "He acted like he killed a bird but it was fake. Another girl in the crowd was upset about this and he then said “Wow, you look upset. Are you with (PETA)? Okay, okay, I’ll produce a bird just for the PETA girl. And then he flipped her off."

Terpstra further stated that he became very uncomfortable and left the building. When he was leaving, he encountered a group of police officers in the lobby. Terpstra then proceeded to re-enter the Elliot Hall of Music and take his new students out with him.

"(Purdue) Counseling and Psychological Services and Center for Advocacy, Response and Education were on scene within minutes talking to people about what happened," Terpstra said. "And the Dean of Students came on stage afterward to point out that his performance does not reflect any of the viewpoints of BGR or Purdue University."

The official CARE at Purdue Twitter account posted a message to students seeking support.

Following the event, Tim Doty, Director of Public Information and Issues Management, sent out the following statement:

"On Saturday night, a comedian performed as part of our BGR student orientation closing session. Accounts differ as to what exactly happened on stage, but some portions of the performance were clearly inappropriate and contrary to the university’s values of respect and support for all. We will not work with this comedian again and are proud of our students who are standing up and voicing their concerns about the performance."

Other social media users have also expressed their outrage on Twitter.

Check out Monday's print edition for the updated story.

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