Xavier, give me wiiings

By Laney Konz, Guest Writer

Picture this: it’s finals week, you’re drowning in studying and papers and your only remaining sliver of sanity lies in consuming an exorbitant amount of caffeine to survive. On a college campus full of sleep-deprived, overly-caffeinated students, it’s simply bull that Xavier doesn’t sell Red Bull in their campus convenience stores.

Xavier is a Pepsi school. If you’re unfamiliar with this, allow me to enlighten you. Essentially, Xavier is affiliated with the Pepsi brand, meaning all beverages on campus are under the Pepsi brand. For Coca-Cola fans, attending a Pepsi school no doubt is absolutely unbearable. I understand, I’m a Coke fan myself, but I will always first and foremost be a Dr. Pepper girlie.

Yet, the irony amongst all of this Pepsi versus Coca-Cola discourse is that Red Bull is under neither of these beverage monopolies. Red Bull is an independent isle, a Switzerland amidst warring countries, a force of neutrality. Under Red Bull GmbH, an Austrian company, our beloved go-to energy drink has no affiliation with Coca-Cola or Pepsi. So, why can’t we sell Red Bull on campus? Why must Red Bull be caught in the crossfire of these two feuding families – a Friar Lawrence stuck between Montagues and Capulets?

Energy drinks are known for being unhealthy. It may be plausible that Xavier is trying to urge students toward healthy food and drink options. It is known that caffeine can be a nervous system stimulant and can make you jittery, while also leading to a major crash after the initial caffeine high. There are also indications that caffeine is highly addictive, like most sugary foods and drinks, ending in withdrawal headaches and mood swings. Maybe the Red Bull-less All for One shops are a health conscious decision by Xavier.

However, if you’ve ever had the honor of visiting the wonderful All for One shop in Gallagher Student Center, you know that there is an entire cooler full of energy drinks, mostly consisting of Celsius, Mountain Dew Kickstart and RockStar. If the issue, then, does not lie in a campus-wide decision to decrease students’ caffeine intake, why is Red Bull excluded from this energy drink soiree?

Moreover, there is a known lawsuit that occurred between Flo Rida and Celsius after they breached a contract in which he was endorsing their products. Although the two have reached an agreement in court – Flo Rida receiving an $80 million settlement – the damage has already been done. I doubt that the shady business will end if they are willing to hide money in a deal with an influencer as big as Flo Rida.

“What kind of university are we if we are supporting a company full of liars?” sophomore Justice Dickey fervently implored.

After receiving insight from Xavier’s auxiliary services, I have learned that while Xavier has flexibility in the products they offer on campus, there is not much wiggle room in the beverage category. Because of the agreement with PepsiCo, Xavier is bound to exclusively sell their products.

I understand this side of the issue, yet there was a time in the fall of 2022 when Red Bull was momentarily sold in the GSC All for One shop. A glimmer of hope rained down upon me as I thought maybe this would be the beginning of a great semester of trips to GSC for a crisp, refreshing Red Bull. Almost as quickly as it appeared, the Red Bull disappeared almost a week after. Whether this was a mistake or a carrot dangled in front of our faces, I am not sure; however, what I do wonder is why Red Bull was sold for a week or so in our campus convenience store when we are tightly bound by contract with Pepsi to not sell any beverage outside of their brand? 

I am not dogging Xavier or advocating for the dissolution of our agreement with Pepsi because, quite frankly, I myself love a good Dr. Pepper. Yet, I want to point back to the ongoing feud between Coca-Cola and Pepsi. These two beverage giants dominate the beverage industry, so why must Red Bull suffer when all they want to do is give students a surge of energy to trudge through the trenches of college.

If you’re seeing red like me at the lack of Red Bull in Xavier’s convenience stores, join me in rallying for ol’ reliable and advocating for students’ freedom to stay caffeinated.