Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Brown appoints lesbian student to CSU board

Governor Jerry Brown has appointed out lesbian Jillian Ruddell, 21, of Chico, to the California State University Board of Trustees.

Ruddell, a CSU Chico student pursuing a degree in multicultural and gender studies with a minor in women’s studies, will serve as the student trustee.

In an interview with the Bay Area Reporter today (Wednesday, July 20), Ruddell said she hopes to advocate for students “and keep them confident in the system.”

She also wants to work at keeping education affordable. Many in the state have been outraged over fee increases.

Ruddell noted in her first year as a trustee, she’ll be a non-voting member, but “at this time, I would not support further tutition hikes.” Her term is for two years.

She’s served as the co-president of the PRIDE/Safezone club since 2009 and she co-founded the Chico State Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Leadership Conference.

In 2010, she told The Orion, CSU Chico’s student newspaper, that she was involved in activism around sexual assault prevention and awareness, and “informing the campus and community of LGBTQ issues and identities.”

“I do it to create a community that is more accepting and welcoming for all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation, gender presentation, or life experience,” Ruddell said.

She also said she was trying to start a gender and equity center with LGBTQ and Women’s Center programming.

Along with her other activities, Ruddell was the youngest person to serve as the Associated Students Women’s Center director. She held that position from 2009 to 2011. She’s also been on the CSU Chico President and Superintendent’s list for academic excellence since 2008.

She received the William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustee’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in 2010.

The trustee position doesn’t require Senate confirmation. The compensation is $100 per diem.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, July 20, 2011 @ 4:43 pm PST
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