Starting this semester, Wittenberg has a new director of student conduct, Jessica Hoelting, who is taking over for former director Krystal Reeb.
Hoelting’s previous job of five years was as an assistant director of student conduct at the University of Dayton. Ready for a change, but wishing to stay in the area, Hoelting sought the opportunity to gain “a new experience” with the student conduct director’s role at Wittenberg.
“Coming to Wittenberg, it was just a great fit, [at a] private, religiously-affiliated institution,” Hoelting said. “I wanted to continue in the field of student conduct, and so moving from an assistant director role to a director role provided that opportunity.”
As director, she focuses on “upholding and maintaining the student code of conduct and ethics, working with residence life – Mark DeVilbis and the Area Coordinators – to make sure that the residence life aspect of things in that code of conduct are also being upheld and, in a sense, supervising the ACs who are hearing many of the cases that occur in residence halls.”
Hoelting also works on the issues regarding rental properties, and cases that have to be taken to hearing boards, as well as “overseeing and chairing those hearings, and again, always making sure that the process is maintained throughout any aspect of those.”
Tied into her title, Hoelting also acts as Title IX coordinator, “supporting [Dean] Casey [Gill].”
“As the Title IX coordinator, I mostly serve as intake officer for any complaints that are filed, conducting and take [taking] meetings with those individuals, and again, making sure that our process is being upheld,” Hoelting said. “It truly is a lot about process. It might sound simple, but lots of times there’s complications that come up, and so you have to be sure that you’re interpreting the code as it’s meant to be interpreted and maintain that throughout that whole process.”
Hoelting has started hearing conduct cases, and is focusing on how to best aid the student body.
“Each institution is different and unique, and our students are experiencing different things. And they’re experiencing them at Wittenberg,” Hoelting said. “What do we [student conduct staff] need to be doing to make sure that our students feel safe, that they know how to report instances of sexual violence or any kind of power-based personal violence, and that we have resources available to them and what those resources look like and how we communicate those out?”
Hoelting intends to use this semester to become better acquainted with the student body so as to see where to take Wittenberg next.
“In terms of the long-term, it’s getting a sense of what the culture is like at Wittenberg,” she said. “[I’m] really trying to figure out where are things at right now and using my past experiences and knowledge and connections that I have to take those and improve…”
Hoelting hopes to make a difference by connecting with students, and having conversations.
“I might be portrayed as ‘the conduct lady,’ but I’m more than that, and I know that they’re [students] more than just an incident on a piece of paper,” Hoelting said. “And if they have any concerns or issues that I truly am open to those conversations, open to debates, because in the end, I’m here to serve students, and if I don’t have a good sense of that, if I’m not open-minded — open and willing to have those conversations — that I’m not going to be very good at my job.”