By Kelly Kennedy, Social Media Editor
Erika Pichardo, Ph.D., has accepted her new role at Manhattan College as the newest Title IX officer.
This position has been left open since the last Title IX Officer left in the Spring 2022 semester and since Goldie Adele, chief compliance officer, has been filling in as interim Title IX chief compliance officer.
The role of Title IX officer is the first line of contact between the MC community and Title IX violations and policies.
“If a student has any questions, concerns or reporting related to Title IX, they start with me. After meeting with the student or the faculty [member], or if I get report because if there’s mandated reporters that would come to me, I would then reach out to the students to determine what their next step is, whether they want to do a formal process, an informal process and then what those steps would look like,” Pichardo said.
Pichardo will be handling both sexual assault and harrassment cases, as well as discrimination cases in her new role. Title IX is currently in a transition period, as Pichardo is beginning to take on cases alongside Adele.
“Right now we’re transitioning because I was acting as the Interim Officer, and so we’re working on cases together, and training her through the process,” Adele said.
Pichardo most recently worked at MC’s neighboring school, College of Mount Saint Vincent. as an adjunct instructor of criminal Justice and the prevention director for education on a grant from the Department of Justice for violence against women.
“She used to be at Mount Saint Vincent, which is also a Catholic school. So she has a lot of experience with working with students, which is important, being able to connect to students and understand students. So we’re excited to have Erika in this role,” Adele said.
“I wanted to come into this role because I wanted a more streamlined view into the first kind of point, because Title IX is where students come to get some information, some education, and that’s why I fell into this role to be able to help students decide whether they want to do a formal versus informal and understanding the educational components behind what Title IX is,” Pichardo said.
As the new Title IX Officer, Pichardo will be working closely alongside Adele, as well as the Lasallian Women and Gender Research Center. On Nov. 8, Pichardo held her first meet and greet in collaboration with the LWGRC.
Caitlin Lambe, an intern at LWGRC, spoke about her hopes on working with Pichardo in the future.
“The LWGRC works closely with the Title IX office and it is so important to maintain a constant line of communication with our new title IX officer Erika. We are so excited to work alongside her and continue this work for diversity, equity, and inclusion, on campus,” Lambe said.
Pichardo is eager to work with students and the campus community as a whole, and will be maintaining an open door policy in her office if anyone has any questions regarding the Title IX process or is looking for guidance.
“I’m really excited to be here and to work with students and with the Manhattan College community. And I do have an open door policy. So students want students, anyone on the Manhattan College campus really who wants to come in and say hi, ask questions. My door is here and we’ll all learn together,” Pichardo said.