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Knight to resign as LGBA liaison

After serving less than one year as the Student Life office's liaison with the campus lesbian, gay and bisexual community, Stephen Knight said yesterday he will be resigning at the end of this week.

Knight, who is an intern in the office, said he is leaving the University to take a position in New York City's family court system. However, he will continue to lead two discussion groups here through the end of the year.

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The 1997 graduate of Johns Hopkins University called his months at the University an "interesting year" and a "learning experience," but declined to comment further on his time at Princeton.

The president of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Alliance, Tomás Amorim '99, was critical of Knight's work over the past months and said his departure would not affect the LGBA's functions.

"Though I do not want to scapegoat Mr. Knight, complicated dynamics in the student leadership as well as a decline in participation are directly related to his performance," Amorim said.

However, Assistant Dean of Student Life Sandra Silverman, who will assume many of Knight's former responsibilities, said he is "not leaving under a dark cloud."

"He seems to be someone who really does care about the community," she said, adding, "He has another position that he couldn't say 'no' to."

The office's internship is usually a one-year job, said Associate Dean of Student Life Kathleen Deignan.

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LGBA treasurer Nick Salvato '00 said criticism of Knight may be misdirected.

'Difficult circumstances'

"I think that Stephen is a very earnest and sincere person and had nothing but good intentions when he arrived here," Salvato said. "But, due to difficult circumstances, it has been difficult for him to do those things and for us to interact with him."

Among those circumstances, Salvato said, is the lack of a clear job description for the intern, resulting in a "role that is riddled with contradictions."

Knight's most important task of the year was trying to get more students involved in lesbian, gay and bisexual activities on campus, Salvato said, though the attendance problem "wasn't his alone and it certainly wasn't because of him."

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Upon being originally named to the internship, Knight said he was pleased. "The prospect was very exciting," he said.

"I've had a lot of positive experiences and some learning experiences here," Knight added.

Even before he was appointed to the position, though, dissent had already built over his candidacy, Amorim said.

"My personal opinion is that his hiring did not reflect the concerns of the leaders of the LGB community invited to be involved in the selection process," Amorim said. "(Knight's) performance throughout the fall semester, though reflecting some strong qualities, did reflect these concerns in ways with some negative consequences to the community."

Saying she could not comment on personnel matters, Deignan said she was "very disappointed that anyone in the selection process would breach the confidentiality of that process and potentially take out of context anything that was shared in those conversations."

Deignan added, "We invite people to come who we feel will make a contribution."

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