Students reflect on role behavior plays in different social situations



Students shared their experiences with code-switching through discussion and guided exercises.

Krystal Ortiz, Staff Writer

Sophomore Chyanne Blaklyhosted a panel on the importance of code switching, the act of purposefully changing your behavior in an interaction, on Nov. 21.

The panel’s purpose was to raise awareness on code switching by encouraging students to distinguish themselves from others. It also aimed to teach them the importance of identity in code switching.

“I wouldn’t talk to you the same way I would talk to my boss. For many it’s a code of survival and a key to their success, as it teaches you to be more professional,” Blakly said.

When asked about her thoughts on the frequency of the use of code switching, Blakly related it to an instance in her own life.

“For my entire life, I always thought that code switching was baked into people,” Blakly said. “It always made a difference, especially as a minority. So, it made sense to me that it was just basic knowledge. However, I was mistaken. When I came to college, I realized that people didn’t have the skill.”

During the panel, students were able to listen to their peers who shared their personal experiences and thoughts on code switching.

“Code switching is how I can talk to people in all aspects of my life,” senior Queury Triunfel said. “When I came to Iona, an Irish, Catholic college, I had to learn to navigate all these different communities and figure out how to keep my own voice but be assertive here on campus. It’s such a powerful skill to have, and I’m lucky that I learned the ropes quickly.”

In the end, all students were expected to leave with a new understanding of how to be respected, knowledgeable and professional without losing their identity through code switching.

“To be honest, I was dragged here by a friend, but I am so glad I came,” graduate student Sara Riad said. “It really opened my eyes on how to act in front of people. If I want to be recognized, I need to change my approach. Especially if I want a job or an internship in the future.”

Sophomore Nigel Petti-Fernandez felt inspired by the panel.

“It’s always good to get an outside perspective on things, especially when they’re from different places and have seen different things than you,” said Petti-Fernandez. “Being in an environment where everyone knows the same stuff but can put their two cents into the mix is always helpful and inspiring.”