Broken urinal brings SM East’s ‘Club Baño’ to a close

The broken urinal. Photo via Thomas Allegri's gofundme page.
The broken urinal. Photo via Thomas Allegri’s gofundme page.

A five-year-old SM East tradition has come to a close.

During the 2010-2011 school year, a group of SM East seniors came up with the idea of hosting a very short dance party in one of the boys bathrooms during a Friday passing period. A group of 10 or 20 students would arrange to meet in a specific bathroom, usually on the day of a major sporting event, where they would jump up and down and chant “baño” — Spanish for bathroom. The tradition was dubbed “Club Baño.”

It was, SM East teachers and administrators found, a relatively harmless high school prank. But as the years went by, the tradition started to attract more and more students. As many as 40 kids would be packed into the bathroom, and the noise they generated was starting to disturb teachers and students in surrounding classrooms. Administrators spoke with the organizers of the event earlier this year about toning it down.

On Jan. 14, however, the group organized another Club Baño gathering, during which a student stood on top of a urinal, causing it to fall from the wall and shatter.

The student, Thomas Allegri, came forward and told administrators he had been the one responsible for breaking the urinal and told them he wanted to pay to repair it. (He had to serve a one-day suspension as well).

Allegri launched a gofundme campaign to see if he could get some help from fellow students to pay for the repairs. They stepped up and raised $500.

After the incident, school administrators met with the Club Baño organizers and told them the tradition had gotten too big and that it needed to come to a close.

Here’s a video Allegri shot of the Jan. 14 gathering: