I students react to BYU decision to sell caffeinated sodas

Posted September 24, 2017

Brigham Young University announced Thursday that it will start to sell caffeinated soft drinks on campus.

"I've heard people talk about hiding mini-fridges on campus and doing an on-demand delivery service - get a can of soda delivered to you anywhere on campus any time", R. Alex Anderson, a 24-year-old master's student said via Twitter direct messaging.

Brigham Young University is now allowing the sale of caffeinated sodas on campus grounds. In general, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a complicated - and often misunderstood - relationship with caffeine.

Non-caffeinated sodas will continue to be offered on the Provo campus.

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Explaining the decision, Dean Wright, the director of BYU's dining services, said that the goal of the change is "simply working to meet the preferences of our customers".

Did I just buy the first ever caffeinated Coke Zero Sugar sold in #BYU's Wilkinson Student Center?

That is, until 2012, when Mitt Romney's presidential run spurred the Church to release an official statement that it "does not prohibit the use of caffeine".

While many Mormons do avoid caffeinated soft drinks, LDS Doctrine and Covenants - the revelation Mormon prophet Joseph Smith says he received from God - only explicitly forbids the consumption of "hot drinks".

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Whether it's been an espresso-laced coffee or a cold Coca-Cola, caffeinated drinks have fueled campuses for decades.

BYU students always had been free to bring caffeinated drinks to campus. Employees don shirts that say, "I'm a caffeine dealer".

Mormons are encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but it was a long-held misunderstanding that the faithful were barred from consuming caffeine.

It's not clear how the business will be impacted by the dining service change.

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