Ousted CESAR board member threatens lawsuit

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By Paul Zimmerman

A squabble between the Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson and former board of directors member Sean Singh is threatening to spill into court.

Singh, 26, was ousted from CESAR’s board after a closed-door discussion during a board meeting Sept. 25.

He is now considering taking legal action against the organization over his dismissal.

“I am pursuing things internally first through Ryerson,” he said. “Hopefully I can talk to people higher up in administration, but if nothing happens there, I will have to take external legal action. They really have to acknowledge that their actions were improper.”

Singh challenges the tabling of a motion at CESAR’s Aug. 31 board meeting to have him removed from the board — an action he said was taken because of his absence from summer board meetings.

Singh said he had provided the board with reasons for his absences through e-mail. “There were other board members who were absent in the summer,” he said. “I don’t know why [the motion to dismiss] was tabled in August.”

Minutes for the August meeting show Singh was to meet with Nazmin Zaver, CESAR’s president, to discuss his absences.

“We had set up two dates and Sean was given a chance to meet with the president, and he basically never came,” said Frank Cappadocia, CESAR’s general manager.

But Singh said he was not able to make the meeting. “[Zaver] had asked for a meeting, but I only had a week before I left on holidays and we weren’t able to do anything,” he said. “But I did state my commitment to CESAR in my email to him.”

Elizabeth Mote, CESAR’s v.p. public relations, said Singh was dismissed because of a lack of commitment to the organization, not his summer absences. “We have on repeated instances brought this to his attention,” she said. Cappadocia said the student association is keeping all its legal options against the former board member open. “[Singh] had made a number of statements that could be thought of as slanderous,” he said. “It would be very easy to take legal action against him.”

But Cappadocia said he is reluctant to do so. “We are not in the business of going after students.”

Singh has publicly questioned the competence and fiscal responsibility of CESAR’s board of directors in the past, but denies he did anything wrong. “I really haven’t slandered CESAR at all, in my opinion.”

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