Utah's Brigham Young University to Sell Caffeinated Drinks

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

In a surprising announcement Thursday, Brigham Young University said they are now offering CAFFEINATED drinks on campus.

In 2012, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement clarifying its stance on how caffeinated sodas fit in with the Word of Wisdom and said it "does not mention the use of caffeine". The faith's reference to "hot drinks" is limited to tea and coffee.

Mormon worshippers are still prohibited from consuming alcohol or tobacco, and students at the predominantly Mormon school are famously required to abide by a strict.

"I drank a lot of caffeinated beverages while I was here but none of them was purchased on campus", said Christopher Jones, 34, a visiting BYU history professor and former student.

BYU alum Karl Jepsen, 48, was visiting his daughter who is now a student and basked in being able to drink "real Diet Coke" from the fountain machine.

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The university announced the decision in a FAQ posted to their website, saying there has been a recent uptick in requests for caffeinated soda. The university will also offer caffeinated options at sporting events. The university consistently resisted calls for a caffeinated campus, insisting its consumers did not want it.

Law student George Simmons tells member station KUER that the campus is buzzing about the change.

It's not clear how the business will be impacted by the dining service change. Smith's directive, focused on "hot drinks", predated the proliferation of soda drinking in the US, 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.

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". That means no Dr. Pepper or Mountain Dew. "We are simply working to meet the preferences of our customers".

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