On Monday, February 26, the activist group Missoula Rises will be hosting a panel discussion at the Wilma Theater entitled ‘Tackling a Culture of Sexism’.

The panel will include head Montana Football Coach Bobby Hauck, UM President Seth Bodnar, UM Athletic Director Kent Haslam and several others, including Brint Wahlberg, a frequent contributor to fan sites such as egriz.com. Wahlberg explains his connection to Missoula Rises and his part on the panel.

“Missoula Rises is a loosely formed group that mostly uses Facebook and other social media to organize over causes of concern to them,” Wahlberg began.  “I was approached by the organizers of this forum to represent that person who spans both sides of this discussion. I disagreed with the petition that Miss Davey had posted, but I also disagreed with how other people dealt with that opinion. They reached out to me because I’m an egriz poster, a Griz fan and I’m a member of their (Missoula Rises) Facebook community and could bridge the discussion and help improve communication.”

Wahlberg said the University of Montana has come a long way in dealing with the topic of sexual assault since the Department of Justice arrived in Missoula in 2010, and the many changes have occurred within all facets of the university, the community and its law enforcement agencies.

“When Hauck was hired, may people said ‘Bobby’s going to let these players slide’, but with the systems and the student code of conduct and all the processes that the university has built in after all the NCAA issues, in my opinion, there’s still a lot of misunderstanding and lack of knowledge about what the university has put in,” he said. “On the other said, there are some football fans who just disparage other people’s opinions. That’s the purpose of this forum is to try to bring those two sides together.”

Wahlberg offered a case in point, the opening of the newly completed Champions Center on campus.

“There were loud shouts that the university was taking away funds from schools and professors to build locker rooms, when all that money was privately raised,” he said. “Actually, the individuals who donated to that facility donated even more money to the education building.”

The Missoula Rises ‘Tackling a Culture of Sexism’ had been moved from The Public House to the Wilma Theater to handle the large crowd anticipated for the event.

It is not known at this time if the panel discussion will be streamed via Facebook or by MCAT (Missoula Community Access Television) so even more people across the country can join in.

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