Noting Vassar's relative isolation, The Transcript, an eight-page student journal, criticized the limitation of outside speakers at the college to those speaking "on educational subjects:"
"Shut in as we are from outside influences, we are too liable to fall into the error of thinking that the student's life is the only life, the student's interests the only important interests.... Unlike the students of other colleges, we have not the opportunity to come in daily contact with those engaged in active life, and thus learn what is going on. Absorbed in our regular college duties, we have no time to make a special study of these matters.... We should hear the popular speakers on the great vital questions of the age, that we may learn to judge correctly of th popular mind and intelligently form our own." James Monroe Taylor and Elizabeth Hazelton Haight, Vassar