Michigan State University’s Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) is a neutral entity that reviews concerns related to discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, relationship violence and stalking.
Bianca Stepanyan is an accommodation specialist for the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Education Compliance. She coordinates interim measures or accommodations for the OIE on campus.
“So Office of Institutional Equity or OIE is the department on campus that receives complaints regarding potential violations of the Relationship Violence & Sexual Misconduct (RVSM) policy, and the anti-discrimination policy. Mainly, OIE is known for the RVSM policy, which they oversee and investigate any potential violations of,” says Stepanyan.
“And what that means is basically anybody going through the investigative process, I help do things such as a discreet notification to professors if they're struggling in courses. Depending on what they have reported that they've experienced, I could potentially help coordinate extensions for assignments, postpone exams until they're ready to be taken, or do anything that helps a student or a faculty member or a staff member on campus excel academically or professionally while they are with MSU.”
Stepanyan talks about why she’s motivated to do this work. And she clears up what she believes is a misconception about OIE staffers.
“When I've talked to investigators, one of the things that I think concerns them is that people think that they don't care. They're doing work that nobody understands. And I think what I would like people to know is that the people that staff the OIE do care. They care about MSU, and they care about MSU's community safety and wellbeing, and they want those who are here - students, faculty, and staff - to excel at what they're doing, and to be able to gain what they are looking for when they are here.”
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