Mormon church-owned Brigham Young University ended a six-decade ban Thursday on the sale of caffeinated soft drinks on campus, surprising students by posting a picture of a can of Coca-Cola on Twitter and just two words: "It's happening." The move sparked social media celebrations from current and former students, with many recalling how they had hauled their own 2-liter bottles of caffeinated sodas in their backpacks to keep awake for long study sessions, the AP reports. The university never banned having caffeinated drinks on campus, but held firm to the ban on sales even when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 2012 clarified that church health practices do not prevent members from drinking caffeinated soft drinks. The ban has been in place since the mid-1950s. But officials with the school of 33,000 students in Provo, Utah, said Thursday that increasing demand prompted the change.
Students were abuzz about a change that meant they'll no longer have to make off-campus runs to load up on their favorite caffeinated sodas to jolt their sleep-deprived brains. As cafeteria workers stocked refrigerators in the student center food court with caffeinated Diet Coke, Coca-Cola, and Mr. Pibb, students joked about it being the "best day ever." Caffeinated soft drinks will also be sold at sporting events that draw tens of thousands of fans. Sales of highly caffeinated energy drinks are still banned. The Utah-based Mormon religion directs its nearly 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. One former student says the change could impact views among Mormons about caffeine. She said some older Mormons in her Salt Lake City congregation still believe all caffeine is prohibited. (Read more Brigham Young University stories.)