University ban on flavored gum causes some sticky situations

Liz Whitmer, Contributing Writer

As sugar addiction runs rampant throughout campus, the Bison Cafe announced its plan to stop selling flavored gum, effective immediately. In exchange, they will be selling traditional, flavorless gum.

New studies from the University have linked the use of flavored gum to serious health problems including weight gain, diabetes and, in more serious cases, tooth decay. Many students who report chewing flavored gum have also experienced some of these side effects. 

The Bucknellian spoke to University staff member Denise Diet, who is spearheading this campus-wide ban.

“These products are just too new to be sold to the young adults on campus without major concerns,” Diet said.

Many staff members have backed Diet on her efforts to ban flavored gum, saying the number of students chewing is much higher than they had expected. This ban is following the death of students across campus who have had access to flavored gum, which was originally intended to help people stop using mints.

While many students recognize the danger they could be putting themselves in by chewing flavored gum, others are furious about this change in policy. Jason Jules ’23 has made his voice heard on campus as he protests this ban. 

“The only people who need to stay away from flavored gum are the ones who chew, like, a pack a day,” Jules said. “I just think it’s absurd how a few kids get sick from chewing gum and the Bison bans it, but people get sick after eating from the Flyson every weekend and no one ever does anything about that.”

Other students, like Sarah Smok ’21, are upset by the hypocrisy of the situation. 

“People have been dying because of way more serious issues,” Smok said. “Besides, chewing gum is so much safer than using mints all day, but no one has banned those yet.”

Despite the few outliers who are fighting the ban of gum, the general consensus on campus is favorable toward the movement. Many students have been seen disposing of full packs of gum since the ban has been put into effect. 

University environmental clubs and custodial staff would like to remind students to dispose of packs of gum through traditional garbage disposal methods, rather than throwing them outside or flushing them.

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