In February, Central Michigan University student government members called for school leaders to lift the ban on self-defense sprays, such as pepper spray, to help improve safety on the campus.
On Tuesday, CMU issued a statement on their decision to lift the ban:
A discussion by members of the Student Government Association raised questions about a university policy that, among other things, bans the use of dangerous chemicals. The policy was interpreted to include pepper spray.
A committee appointed to review the intent of the policy has determined that the primary ingredient in pepper spray, capsaicin, which makes hot peppers hot, does not constitute a dangerous chemical and thus is not prohibited by the policy.
We would like to thank the SGA and the students involved in this discussion for taking an active role in prompting a review of the policy.
When TV5 first covered this story, we spoke with Chloe Gleichman and Mariah Urueta, two CMU students who believe their safety can be improved by carrying a quick-fire can of pepper spray.
"My grandma said, 'We should get you some of that, just in case,'" explained Urueta, a junior on campus, who was holding her small canister of spray.
"It's a psychological thing for me. I mean, I don't know if I could actually ever use it," said Gleichman, a senior.
The two students carry pepper spray as a sense of security. Under CMU's old rules, it was technically a violation to carry the spray, and it could have gotten them suspended or even kicked off of campus. Now that the policy has been changed, the students are free to carry the protective spray.
It also was not hard to find the product for sale. The CMU Bookstore, which is on campus, sells it.
Pepper spray is legal to carry in the state of Michigan. The rules the students are proposing would follow state laws.
Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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