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In 1899, Mary Kimball Morgan and Fannie Ball Perrin had one night to choose a name for their new school before it was to be listed in the directory simply as “Mrs. Morgan’s School.” The women agreed that the name should reference Principle, but they “decided to do some specific metaphysical work to enable them to find the right name” (As the Sowing 54). By the next morning, each woman had written what she thought would be an appropriate name for the school. After sharing their ideas, Mrs. Morgan and Mrs. Perrin discovered that they had both chosen Principia.
This anecdote from Principia’s origin highlights the effective decision-making processes upon which this school was founded. Resolutions were reached harmoniously, and communication was open. And while decisions are not always this clear or crucial, they can still be approached thoughtfully and with an expectation of good.
The past several weeks of Pilot production have been an interesting lesson in the value of effective communication. Without intentionally creating a theme for the magazine, we quickly discovered that many of the articles featured in this issue center around the importance of open dialogue. It might seem like a simple step, but it’s something we often bypass in service of a personal agenda or through lack of initiative.
As much as we hope to encourage open conversation on campus, it is difficult to proceed when channels of communication suddenly close. We understand it might not always be appropriate to publish a story about a contested issue, but we hope our fellow community members understand our purpose in supporting continuing and transparent conversation. Simply because an issue is not fully resolved, does not mean it is inappropriate to discuss in a public forum, whether that be in the Pilot or elsewhere.
It’s important for everyone to feel their opinions are valued, and the Pilot encourages healthy debate. But if we, as members of a close-knit community, hesitate to share our ideas or thoughtfully consider opposing views, we may one day find we’ve wasted opportunities to progress and better understand one another.