UNM to consider revising pepper spray policy

University of New Mexico UNM

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Students at the University of New Mexico want university officials to clear up a policy they say has a lot of inconsistencies.

“I got a no across the board but there was some differences here and there,” UNM Senior Ryan Boyle said.

Boyle is referring to the policy regarding pepper spray on campus.

“When I was talking with the different departments about what the policy was, there was a lot of inconsistencies,” he said. “So that’s one of the reasons why we wanted to create this policy was to make sure everyone was on the same page.”

Right now the current policy states, “Weapons include, but are not limited to, firearms, ammunition or other dangerous weapons.”

But the policy never lists pepper spray as a weapon. According to Boyle, three different departments: UNMPD, the UNM Policy Office and the Dean of Students, all told him students weren’t allowed to bring pepper spray onto campus.

When KRQE News 13 called the university, UNMPD said although the current policy is unclear, officers have never have to enforce any punishment because of a pepper spray incident.

Policy Director Pamina Deutsch said it’s not against policy for students to have pepper spray with them, but wants to revise the policy to make it clear.

Last week, Boyle introduced new legislation that would allow students to bring pepper spray on campus. ASUNM passed it, but now it’s out of students’ hands and up to the university to make the final decision.

“Students are concerned with safety and want to have more options when it comes to self-defense,” Boyle said.

UNM said it’s looking into TSA guidelines to know the appropriate amount of pepper spray students should be allowed to carry on campus.

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