It's happening; BYU to offer caffeinated soda on campus

Melissa Jeltsen for Huff Post
Rachel Densley 22 and Alexander Ure 23 make an early morning soda run at Brigham Young University

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints directs members to generally avoid alcohol and beverages such as coffee and tea as part of an 1833 revelation from Mormon founder Joseph Smith that member should not consume "hot drinks". 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.

A Mormon university ended a ban on the sale of caffeinated beverages.

That year, a BYU student started a petition to add caffeinated drinks on campus, but no change had happened until now.

"I think it's a step in the right direction because I think it will lead to more acceptance and less judgment and I think if you judge you can't love", Simmons says. The university announced that soft drinks with caffeine would once again be offered at dining halls and soda machines. "The Church's health guidelines prohibit alcoholic drinks, smoking or chewing of tobacco, and "hot drinks" - taught by Church leaders to refer specifically to tea and coffee". "Nor should members use harmful or habit-forming substances except under the care of a competent physician". Smith's directive, focused on "hot drinks", predated the proliferation of soda drinking in the USA, from manufacturers including Coke and its rival PepsiCo PEP, -0.68% Brigham Young, the school's namesake, was the second president of the Latter Day Saints.

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Even before this change, there was at least one way to get a Coke on campus.

But following Brigham Young's policy switch, sales of fizzy drinks have already begun on the Utah campus.

BYU student Wesley Monahan, also known as "the caffeine dealer", owns Caffeine Corner. He responds: "The answer is yes!"

The change on campus is so historic it necessitated a Q&A briefing with the director of dining services. Pepsi and Mountain Dew became fair game. In a Facebook post, Caffeine Corner said, "Sounds like we're still in business".

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