- The Washington Times - Monday, February 29, 2016

Middlebury College in Vermont has banned the sale of energy drinks on campus for supposedly contributing to “problematic behavior,” such as alcohol abuse and “high-risk” sexual activity.

The ban, which will take effect on March 7, will apply to popular energy drinks such as Red Bull and 5-hour ENERGY, according to The Middlebury Campus newspaper.

Debate on the issue began Jan. 19 at a meeting for the school’s Community Council, which includes faculty, staff and 12 students. Dining Software Intern Myles Kamisher-Koch argued that the sale of energy drinks violated Dining Services’ mission, stated on the college’s website, to “nourish and nurture today and tomorrow by sustaining mind, body and earth,” The Middlebury Campus reported.

Mr. Kamisher-Koch’s data included a study finding that “up to 25 percent of current drinkers combine alcoholic beverages with energy drinks.” He also included reports that energy drinks promote poor academic tendencies and foster a “culture of stress,” campus paper reported.

The Community Council reportedly approved the ban, 11 to 1.

A prominent flyer in the college’s Wilson Cafe, signed by Executive Director of Food Service Dan Detora, cites a connection between energy drinks and unsafe behavior in young people, including “increased alcohol consumption, increased likelihood to drive while intoxicated, increased probability of use of other intoxicating substance and increased participation in high-risk sexual activity.”

Middlebury students aren’t banned from consuming the drinks on campus — they just have to buy them elsewhere. Guayaki Brand Yerba Mate, regarded as a healthier alternative to the previously identified energy drinks, will remain available for purchase, The Middlebury Campus reported.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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