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Philosophy major: 'My voice has been heard'


Like many MCLA students, Colby Harvish ’16 of Queensbury, N.Y., involves himself in activities that compliment his growth and learning. Participation, he said, is the real-world application of classroom experiences.

“The purpose of higher education is to take what you learn, then innovate and impact the world,” said Harvish. “Many of the activities and committees I participate in – as well as the conferences I’ve attended and the plays I’ve acted in – not only teach me just like my classes do, but they allow me to innovate and impact the world.”

Colby HarvishA leader for the campus’s resident halls, Harvish was elected as president of the Hoosac Halls Advisory Board at the start of his first year. In that position, he attended the Northeast Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls conference. He also gave a presentation at MCLA’s Student Leadership Conference on public speaking 

During his freshman year, Harvish also joined Yorick, the Shakespeare troupe on campus, and attended regular meetings of the Student Government Association (SGA), for which he now serves as a Senator-at-Large.

As a resident advisor for Berkshire Towers, he recently attended a Boston Area College Housing Association conference.

“I have taken full advantage of the opportunity to be a voice for students. Whether through participation on an advisory board, SGA, college governance committees, conferences, or departmental curriculum committees, my voice has been heard by faculty, staff and administration alike,” Harvish said. “After talking with students of other institutions, that opportunity is not so equal.”

He continued, “Until I became a student here, I did not realize how much of voice MCLA students have in shaping curriculum, reforming college policies, and so much more. Most of the faculty, staff, and administration are not only willing to listen to MCLA students, but they also seek MCLA students’ voices and opinions. 

Harvish wants prospective students to know that, “At MCLA, you matter to professors, staff and administration beyond your attendance and your tuition payments.”

A philosophy major, Harvish wants to contribute to prominent discussions of the day, and also to begin conversations that others may not want to approach. Philosophy, he said, asks the big questions that science, theology and other disciplines attempt to answer.

“What interests me most is its significance as an origin – etymology, philosophy, and the ancient Greeks, just to name a few,” Harvish said. “All interest me because they are the roots for so much more.”

His dream is to become a philosophy professor. “Along the way; however, I hope to increase discussion within philosophical topics which are popular to me, but perhaps unpopular to philosophers in general.”

Over the past several years, Harvish’s understanding of what it means to be social in various settings – as well as what it means to be an individual – has changed.

“Classes and other experiences have taught me different aspects of socialization within various contexts, while also teaching me different aspects of how to be myself and who I really am,” he said.

According to Harvish, “For students who want a higher education environment with unique opportunities for connections, with a community that genuinely cares about the students, and with meetings and events happening every day,MCLA, in the beautiful Berkshires, is the place to be.”