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BYU Students Can Now Get A Caffeinated Soda On Campus (And Possibly Stay Awake During Biology Too)

Kelsie Moore

For over 50 years if you wanted to get a caffeinated soda on Brigham Young University campus in Provo, you were out of luck. Until now.

BYU students woke up Thursday to a tweet from their school that simply said, “It’s happening.”

The reason for the change? Campus officials say student requests for caffeine have become much more frequent. But what they didn't address was why it was kept off campus in the first place.

Since BYU is owned by the LDS church the vast majority of students are Mormon. And, as everyone knows, Mormons are told to avoid coffee and tea. But Coke?

Some have assumed that BYU’s stance on caffeinated drinks was an extension of the Mormon health code. But back in 2012 the LDS church made it clear that it does not prohibit caffeine and the word isn’t mentioned in church policy.


And now, a couple years later, BYU is loosening up a bit. Law student George Simons says everyone he’s bumped into on campus has been talking about the change.  

“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," Simons says.

Simons sees it as a separation of culture and doctrine and in a small way, evidence of a more accepting tone from the church as a whole.

Lee Hale began listening to KUER while he was teaching English at a Middle School in West Jordan (his one hour commute made for plenty of listening time). Inspired by what he heard he applied for the Kroc Fellowship at NPR headquarters in DC and to his surprise, he got it. Since then he has reported on topics ranging from TSA PreCheck to micro apartments in overcrowded cities to the various ways zoo animals stay cool in the summer heat. But, his primary focus has always been education and he returns to Utah to cover the same schools he was teaching in not long ago. Lee is a graduate of Brigham Young University and is also fascinated with the way religion intersects with the culture and communities of the Beehive State. He hopes to tell stories that accurately reflect the beliefs that Utahns hold dear.
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