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Ohio University student Garrett Meddock grabs a drink at the Coca-Cola machine at West 82 in Baker Center, Sept. 7, 2023.

OU is now a Coca-Cola campus, students have mixed feelings

This past summer, Ohio University officially switched from using Pepsi products to Coca-Cola products in their dining halls and markets. While some students viewed the switch as a huge success, others mourned the loss of their favorite Pepsi products, gone but never forgotten. 

The classic and sweet cherry Coke was one product that students were excited to add to their beverage option list, but the famous Dr. Pepper continues to be missed around campus, even a mere three weeks into the school year. For some students, this Pepsi favorite became a constant in their dining hall trips, so having to do without it this year has been brutal. Those too devastated by the loss will have to take a trip to Walmart or Kroger to continue to drink their favorite maroon-labeled fizzy drink. 

Maecy Voytek, a freshman studying hearing speech and language science, said she originally found out about OU’s switch from Pepsi to Coke through the OU 2027 Snapchat story. 

She said she was originally very shocked by this decision, but quickly became excited due to her family and more specifically her dad’s long-running tradition of only drinking Coke products. She said both of her parents went to OU, and her dad had been very disappointed to find out that OU had been a Pepsi school back when Voytek had committed last school year. 

Voytek said she was very excited when they got to share the good news with her dad. 

“I was like ‘Dad, you’re not going to believe this. They are switching to Coke,’” she said. “He celebrated the whole drive here, so it's super exciting because it’s like a family joke.” 

Voytek said she hopes students will recover quickly from this transition and find the benefits of Coke eventually.

“I think people should look a little more positively at the situation,” she said. 

Raeli Blandine, a sophomore studying exercise physiology, said she originally saw the switch from Pepsi to Coke at the dining hall and was very excited due to her love of Cherry Coke and Coke products in general. 

“Coke is dominant,” she said. “I like Coke better.” 

Belle Lormeau, a freshman studying hearing speech and language sciences, said she was very excited when she enjoyed a nice Dr. Pepper at her orientation, but was very upset when she noticed OU had switched to Coke products when she came back for the fall semester. She said although she did not despise Coke products, she was simply going to miss her dearly adored Dr. Pepper. 

She said Dr. Pepper was like a sweet treat to enjoy during her meals, so losing this essential part of her diet was devastating. 

“I was very upset,” she said. “I’m definitely a Dr. Pepper person. It’s kind of like my guilty pleasure drink for dessert. It’s like my dessert with every meal is ... a Dr. Pepper, so I was very upset. I do like Diet Coke, but in my opinion, no soda even touches or comes close to Dr. Pepper, so that's my issue.” 

Lormeau said she will try to stay positive and enjoy Coke products, but is still upset by the loss of her favorite drink. 

“I like Diet Coke,” she said. “It’s okay, but every time I drink it, I’m just kind of wishing it was Dr. Pepper.” 


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