The unofficial annual Egg War caused thousands of dollars of damages to the community on Oct. 13. A long-standing yearly tradition where Paly seniors and juniors throw eggs at each other in predetermined locations, it is a highly controversial non-school related event.
Because Egg Wars is a student-organized event, Paly has no easy way to punish students who participate, Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson said.
“It’s tough because it’s out of our jurisdiction,” Berkson said. “So we can only inform the community that it could be going on. We can inform the police. Hopefully, they could do something about it. It’s a tough thing that we’ll have to look into to prevent in the future.”
At the start of Thursday’s Spirit Week rally, Activities Director Steve Gallagher asked students to better represent the Paly community following Wednesday night’s Egg Wars. At the same rally, Associated Student Body Sports Commissioner Tony Jeon and Treasurer Vivian Trach asked students to help clean up eggs left at Peers Park due to Egg Wars in exchange for additional float building time.
“I would love it if you guys showed what Paly is really about,” Gallagher said at the same rally. “Because last night — I’m embarrassed.”
Many Palo Alto residents expressed their disapproval of Egg Wars on the social networking app Nextdoor, including community member Elaine Meyer who called for change.
“Just because someone calls (Egg Wars) a tradition doesn’t make it OK,” Meyer wrote in a comment. “Some traditions are ignored or discarded if people think it is destructive, wasteful, and pointless.”
A senior who showed up to help with the cleanup effort at Peers Park after school, but asked The Campanile not to use her name since she participated in Egg Wars, said she was surprised at the lack of activity she found when she got there.
“I’m kind of shocked that there’s nothing here — at all,” she said. “It’s completely spotless and there’s a bunch of kids playing on the playground. And there’s a soccer team playing. It’s like Egg Wars never even happened.”
She said she wanted to help with the cleanup effort because she thinks cleaning up after herself was the right thing to do.
“Most of the juniors and seniors do (participate) but never vandalize cars or houses,” the senior said. “There should not be any violence whatsoever; we try to keep it as safe as possible, and it’s just a fun thing to do.”
But senior Robert Gindoyan disagrees. He said Egg Wars should not be an upperclassmen tradition.
“It sounds fun as a concept, but when you start considering the people around the park and the park itself, you start to realize how horrible of an idea it is to be buying eggs and throwing them around frantically without control of the whole situation,” he said.
Gindoyan said he originally came to Pardee Park during his 4th period prep because he was curious about the extent of the damage Egg Wars had caused. But when he got there, he found people cleaning up hundreds of egg remnants scattered throughout the park, so he decided to help them even though he had not participated in Egg Wars.
“I was angry because the locals there weren’t involved; they had no understanding of it, but they were just caught in the crossfire of this idiotic fight between the juniors and seniors,” Gindoyan said. “And I felt saddened because of the amount of eggs that were wasted pointlessly and the fact that the locals had to deal with this themselves after the whole incident was over.”
Although most of the cleanup happened during 3rd and 4th periods on Thursday — before the end of school when ASB planned for the cleanup — the anonymous senior said she thinks ASB’s decision to encourage students to clean up after themselves at Egg Wars was a good one.
“I’m really happy that they stepped up and did that,” the senior said. “And I think it was really much needed because kids sometimes might not listen to adults or staff members, but we always listen to our peers, and it is really nice that that happened.”