Bakersfield · Education

In rare move, Newsom taps CSU Bakersfield student for powerful Calif. State University board

Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom named CSU Bakersfield senior Krystal Raynes to the California State University Board of Trustees, marking the first time a student from CSU Bakersfield will serve on the board. 

Raynes, 21, will serve a two year term as one of only two students on the board representing the 480,000 plus students in the CSU system. 

“I am so proud of Krystal,” CSU Bakersfield President Lynnette Zelezny told the university’s news publication. “This is an unprecedented opportunity for CSUB to have a voice advocating on behalf of our students, our families, our great Valley. Krystal is passionate, informed and tireless. She will make an exceptional trustee.” 

With 25 members, the board adopts regulations and policies which govern the 23 campuses in the CSU system and have authority over areas such as educational policy, finance, campus planning and facilities. 

Raynes is a Bakersfield native and graduated from Independence High School before arriving at the CSU Bakersfield as a computer science and business student in 2017. 

While at CSU Bakersfield, Raynes has a variety of positions on campus, including as the Interim Vice President of Legislative Affairs, the Vice President of University Affairs and the Director of Legislative Affairs for Associated Students Inc. 

From 2019-2020, she served as the Social Justice and Equity Officer with the California State Student Association. 

She also was an intern at the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities for the United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, in 2019. 

Her experience in student government figures to factor in for Raynes as she approaches her new position with the board. 

“It’s important to make sure tuition is affordable,” Raynes told CSU Bakersfield’s news publication. “As an ASI representative, I heard so many stories. People are losing jobs, raising kids at home. It’s up to me to remind the other trustees that they are important too. We need to make sure they can afford college. We don’t want students to drop out during this crucial time because they can’t afford it anymore.” 

Raynes joins a board that is in the midst of dealing with issues caused by the coronavirus, such as distance learning and budget shortfalls across the system. 

“With distance learning, there is going to be some sacrifice in quality because you’re not in the classroom,” Raynes told CSUB’s news publication. “But we should make every effort to make sure our students are prepared for the workforce and the real world.” 

The next board meeting – Raynes’ first – is scheduled for Sep. 22-23.

Daniel Gligich
Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.