Young Americans for Liberty (YAL)—the nation’s most active youth liberty organization—is proud to announce a major victory for college students in Indiana. After being pressured by YAL student activists for months, the Indiana University (IU) System has finally decided to update its policies to include a specific carveout for pepper spray within the broader prohibition on weapons.
Students on the nine IU campuses are no longer under threat of punishment for carrying the common self-defense tool, and they can especially thank Jason Riley, YAL’s Indiana State Chair and a student at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). After attending YAL trainings at Revolution 2022, Riley published a letter to the editor in IUPUI’s student newspaper, calling for the removal of IU’s pepper spray ban. This past December, he delivered over 500 petition signatures to IUPUI administrators who helped reverse the entire IU System’s pepper spray ban.
The IU victory is YAL’s largest non-free speech Student Rights Campaign win to date, benefitting more than 100,000 students in Indiana. Below is a statement from JP Kirby, YAL’s Director of Student Rights:
“When activists set their minds on a goal and are willing to work for it, amazing things happen. Jason Riley set out to change a pepper spray policy at his own campus of IUPUI. By the end of the story, Jason brought freedom to an additional eight campuses outside of his own. When students like Jason stand up for their rights, they not only serve their own freedoms, but the freedoms of those who still feel helpless against tyranny—and they inspire others to start taking a stand.”