Mormon-church owned BYU reverses six-decade ban on selling caffeinated drinks

Henrietta Brewer
September 22, 2017

In a paradigm shifting move, Brigham Young University will soon be offering caffeinated soft drinks.

"Caffeinated sodas have never been banned from our campus", BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said by phone, but she clarified that dining services has not offered them since the 1950.

Wright said in the mid-1950s, his predecessor issued the caffeinated soda ban, and it remained the school's policy until Thursday's announcement. The faith's health code, known as the Word of Wisdom, specifically forbids coffee, tea, tobacco, alcohol and "any other drinks or food containing harmful substances", according to the Church's official site, but whether the more ambiguous category includes anything caffeinated has always been a source of debate.

"The university is operated by the Salt Lake City-based Mormon Church, formally known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints".

You can have a Coke and a smile on the campus of Brigham Young University.

"We have already started adding caffeinated soft drinks to the inventory of beverages we sell on campus", the university said.

At BYU, the "honor code" requires that students do not partake in "alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse". However, BYU's Dining Services said it will not be selling highly-caffeinated energy drinks.

Caffeinated soft drinks will also be sold at sporting events that draw tens of thousands of fans. Wright emphasized in his post that BYU still is contractually prohibited from selling any products except Coca-Cola products, with "few, limited exceptions".

Jenkins noted that students have always been free to bring their own caffeine-filled beverages onto campus.

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