“Sandstorm” by Darude blasting, sweaty boys jumping up and down, fists, cameras and a GoPro in the air. Club Baño has begun.
The boys’ bathroom on the fourth floor has been transformed. The once quiet and solitary sanctuary that the boys of Shawnee Mission East can do their business is no longer. Wall to wall, stall to stall, standing on sinks, on top of toilets, hanging from toilet dividers and spilling into the hall, are around 40 boys chanting on the top of their lungs.
“BAÑO! BAÑO! BAÑO! BAÑO!” can be heard throughout the fourth floor hallway.
Sweat drips off their faces as they continue to chant. Pictures are drawn on the mirrors due to the amount of moisture in the air. People crowd surf on the 40 boys tightly packed in the bathroom that has enough toilets to hold six. After the five minutes is over, everyone pours out of the bathroom and goes to class. People stare at all the sweaty boys with big smiles across their faces.
“I like Club Baño so much because it relieves some of the stress of school,” sophomore Andrew Gunya said. “It is something really unique and I really want to keep the tradition going.”
The tradition of Club Baño started around six years ago by East graduate Mark Mergen. It usually meets on game days in the fourth floor boys’ bathroom, immediately following second hour.
Since the beginning of Baño, the members and the administration have had no issues. That is, until the day of the South rivalry football game, Sept. 11th.
“We had a Baño which completely filled up the bathroom,” senior Worth Blackman said. “It got a little bit out of control and I don’t think the administration liked that.”
Kids were spilling out into the halls, banging on ceiling tiles and bathroom dividers. Club Baño had become a distraction. Even a “SOUTH SUCKS” chant started up in preparation for the game that night.
After the incident administration has been more strict to Club Baño. They started locking the bathrooms between 2nd and 3rd hour on game days; the prime time for baño.
As of the last two weeks, there has yet to be another Club Baño. But this is not the end.
“[Baño] is a tradition and they are a good way to get pumped up for the games,” said Blackman. “This is a short halt in the baños for now, but they will start back up.”