A Vermont college has banned the sale of energy drinks on campus because it said the drinks may lead to “problematic behavior” like “high-risk sexual activity” and alcohol abuse. Middlebury College, in Middlebury, Vermont, also said the beverages may affect students’ academic performance and lead to a culture of stress, Fox 2 Detroit reported.
The Middlebury Campus, the college’s student newspaper, reported that the ban will take effect March 7. It applies to popular energy drinks like Red Bull, Rockstar and 5-Hour Energy. Although those products will no longer be sold on campus, students can still purchase them from retailers elsewhere. The college’s Community Council, comprised of faculty, staff and 12 students, approved the decision.
The initiative follows a community council meeting in January, when Dining Software Intern Myles Kamisher-Koch said the sale of energy drinks on campus didn’t align with Middlebury College’s goal to “nourish and nurture today and tomorrow by sustaining mind, body and earth,” The Middlebury Campus reported.
"The school has a responsibility to direct students to healthy choices through what they provide," Kamisher-Koch told the newspaper.
While studies have linked energy drinks to various health risks, including a greater incidence of heart disease— and there have been reports of heart attack among young people linked to consumption of the beverages— it’s unclear whether energy drinks directly increase the chance of high-risk sex. The college has also linked the drinks with an increased risk of students using other “intoxicating” substances and driving drunk.
Dan Detora, executive director of dining hall services at Middlebury College, likened the ban to that of cigarette sales on campus and told NBC News that he thinks it makes sense.
But some students don’t think targeting energy drinks should be priority.
"There are more important things for them to address," fourth-year student Arnav Adhikari, an employee at the college’s Wilson Café, told NBC News. "And what do energy drinks have to do with sexual activity?"