By Alyson Hatfield
AT YCP the Title IX office oversees “inquiries regarding discrimination, harassment, or retaliation based on sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, and other forms of sexual misconduct.”
After a few months of having an interim coordinator, Miguel A. Pereira III became the new Title IX coordinator on Jan. 1, 2023. When asked to define Title IX, Miguel explained it as being “for equal rights, regardless of how anyone identifies. Regardless of sex, religion, gender, etc.; everyone is entitled to a fair education.”
Pereira spent his undergrad studying Humanities and Social Sciences at a community college and then transferred to Buffalo State University studying Social Studies education and then got his master’s in Creative Problem Solving. Pereira will be receiving his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Brenau University, in Gainesville, Georgia, in May 2024.
He spent some time as a middle school teacher then decided he no longer wanted to teach and began working in residence life and as an EOP counselor for some time. In 2021, he started working in Title IX at SUNY Morrisville where he was the Title IX and diversity equity and inclusion coordinator.
When asked why he started working in Title IX he said that due to his history with Title IX, he wanted to make sure “that next person feels safe and give them [students] prevention tools to make sure that they know how to keep themselves safe, or how to stay out dangerous situations on a college campus.”
“I was looking for an institution that they were going to let me thrive as the Title IX coordinator; I felt that this was a good place to do that. It’s a small campus; I prefer smaller institutions. I feel that at smaller institutions you get to know the students [and] they’re not just a number.” Pereira said, regarding why he came to YCP as the Title IX coordinator. “For me it was the people. I met some really good people that are employees here but also students, and I felt it was a good fit for what I want to do in my career. It’s been wonderful here, and I’m glad I chose to work here.”
As the new coordinator, he plans to keep some things in place: “… continue to do the things that have made YCP a safe community. Keep prevention and education that is done by RAs, health center, counseling center, the YWCA, ourselves; those are the things we want to keep doing … Improve our customer service and how we’re treating people when they come in the door. Every case of Title IX is different. … [I want to] Stick to the basics of what has been working and continuously improve what needs to be improved on.”
In May, there will be new Title IX federal regulations coming out for all institutions to follow, and all employees will need to be trained on those new guidelines.
The role of Title IX coordinator can be mentally taxing. As for Pereira, he enjoys getting to know the students and seeing that he helped them get through a hard time. “The biggest reward for me is watching students walk the stage at commencement or when people reach out and say ‘Hey, I really appreciate the time we talked,’ and ‘You really helped me get through something,’ and ‘You helped me out,’ even if it is not Title IX related. Or that they’re successful … and happy.”
Pereira wants everyone to know that “we [Title IX office] pride ourselves on being very welcoming; the door is always open, even if it is not Title IX based, and a person just wants to say hi.”
For more information on the resources that the Title IX office has to offer, please visit their website.
Alyson Hatfield is a senior Political Science major with a minor in public relations.
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