Brigham Young University announced Thursday that it will start to sell caffeinated soft drinks on campus. BYU director of dining services Dean Wright said in an online Q&A that the university will still not offer highly caffeinated energy drinks like Monster Beverage Corp.'s (MNST) offerings.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has clarified over the years that caffeine is not prohibited for Mormons, but hot beverages like coffee and tea aren't allowed.
"It will be on campus today", BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said.
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In 2012, the Church issued a press release that was explicit: "the Church revelation spelling out health practices. does not mention the use of caffeine".
According to the BBC, the move came as a surprise as the largest Mormon college in the USA has ensured it was "caffeine-free" since the 1950s.
The Utah-based Mormon religion directs its almost 16 million worldwide members to avoid alcohol and hot beverages such as coffee and tea as part of an 1833 revelation from Mormon founder Joseph Smith.
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Even before this change, there was at least one way to get a Coke on campus. Caffeinated sodas will still not be sold at the two satellite campuses in Jerusalem and Salt Lake City.
The campus has a contract with Coca-Cola and will be installing the "freestyle" dispensers around campus.
"It's a big day because we can finally drink on campus what we're allowed to drink in real life", said Jepsen, a 1994 graduate. But on Thursday, she said times have changed.
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While some people believe caffeine is banned in the Mormon religion, that's not the case. In a Facebook post, Caffeine Corner said, "Sounds like we're still in business".