The Student Government Association introduced legislation Monday night to allow students to carry pepper spray and other self-defense devices allowed under state law on campus.
The Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of the legislation, with only one vote against. The SGA House will vote to grant student approval to change the policy next Monday.
Under current Central Michigan University policy, students found in possession of self-defense spray or other devices are subject to suspension and dismissal from CMU.
This directly contradicts state law, which allows for the possession of a variety of self-defense sprays under certain legal parameters.
“In light of recent events on Central Michigan University’s campus and surrounding areas, it has become apparent that the need for self-defense is substantial, and current campus amenities, such as blue lights, may not be enough, especially in situations that involve violence and sexual assault,” the legislation reads.
Sen. William Joseph, the Brighton junior who constructed the legislation, said the intent of the legislation was to align CMU policies with state law, and was not drafted in light of recent events, although they illustrate the legislation’s importance.
“These real tragic and real horrible events are on the minds of students. People need to know they can defend themselves. The way I wrote the legislation is to bring the Central Michigan University policy up to date with state law,” Joseph said. “Under Michigan law, pepper spray has its own legal use, which is to protect yourself against any crime against you.”
Saginaw junior Jennifer Moiles presented the legislation to the SGA House last Monday.
“I feel like it would be nice to give students that extra sense of security,” Moiles said. “If it helps one person on this campus, I feel it’s worth it.”
University officials have yet to comment on the legislation.