RSU candidate sues for $800,000

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By Samantha Sim

Two Ryerson students are suing an employee of the Student Campus Centre (SCC) and three campus organizations for a total of $800, 000. The lawsuit filed on Jan. 28 alleges libel, slander, defamation of character and harassment.

Donna Ryder, a candidate for VP Equity at the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) and full-time social work student, and Frank Nyitray, a part-time image arts student, are suing the RSU, the Palin Foundation (an organization that runs the SCC), Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR), and Eric Newstadt, general manager of the SCC.

Ryder alleges that Newstadt is physically barring her from entering the SCC and that he has “banned” Nyitray.

Ryder, who uses an electric wheelchair, said the RSU is forcing her to give up some of her human rights by keeping her from using her attendant, Nyitray.

“I’m comfortable and safe with [Nyitray],” says Ryder.

However, Imre Juurlink, supervisor of Ryerson emergency and security services, said only security has the ability to enforce a ban, and that

security has not physically barred

Ryder from the SCC.

CESAR president, Mohammad Ali Aumeer, and RSU president, Toby Whitfield, had no comment on the lawsuit, citing that the matter is

before the courts.

Ryder says the timing of the lawsuit has nothing to do with the

upcoming student election starting, which began Feb. 7.

This isn’t the first time Ryder and Nyitray have butted heads with the RSU. In December 2009, the two were a part of a group of former community service group employees who sued RSU executives, including Whitfield, for $70,000 in damages.

They filed seven claims in total of libel, slander, defamation and vilification, but settled in mediation in March 2010.


November 2009

Ryder and Nyitray sue Toby Whitfield, VP of Finance and Services at the time, and other RSU executives for $70,000 in damages. They file seven claims in total for libel, slander, defamation and vilification.

March 2010

Ryder and Nyitray settle with the RSU, in mediation, for an undisclosed amount of money.

January 2011

Ryder joins the RSU election race for VP of Equity.

January 28, 2011

Ryder and Nyitray file a lawsuit against the RSU, the Palin Foundation, Eric Newstadt, the SCC and CESAR. They’ve accused the organizations of libel, slander, defamation of character and harassment. They are looking for $800,000 in damages.


    1. Maybe the RSU will start to respect the human rights of persons and they will not have to be taken to court as a result.

  1. They found a good way of making money. Suing for $70k the first time and now $800k! I bet their next law suit will be $9M and it will happen in 2012 or when they run out of money (whichever comes first)

  2. good for these students!!! the rsu needs to learn that they may have control of their little bubble but they still have to act accordingly to the law in the real world!!

  3. at hilton: frivolous charges? how do you know? have you seen the evidence that these students have? no. exactly so stfu!

  4. anyone else see the irony in this? ryder sues the RSU on numerous occasions but was running for a paid executive position on the union. that’s like suing a company but dropping of your resume along with your lawsuit. get real.

  5. LOL,… the best pleases and ways to make changes is from the inside . therefore, For Donna to run was the logical option, since had she won ( had the election indeed been a fair one ) she would have been well positioned to make the much needed changes from the inside out.

    Hilton, … I can assure you that there is nothing frivolous about the charges. There is nothing frivolous about the blatant denial of basic human rights, nothing frivolous about the denial of truth and facts , such as what has been denied US. The RSU loves to chant such important slogans as stand up and fight back … well, we ARE standing up and fighting back.

  6. “Ryder and Nyitray sue Toby Whitfield, VP of Finance and Services at the time, and other RSU executives for $70,000 in damages. They file seven claims in total for libel, slander, defamation and vilification.”

    Could someone please explain to me why they filed these claims? What exactly happened? What did the RSU do that was so bad that drove them to lay these claims?

  7. I agree, these two are just going to continue suing the school endlessly, seriously, get a life!

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