On Tuesday, Oct. 5, from noon to 1p.m. in the Northwest Lounge of Montana State University's Student Union Building, the public is invited to attend this semester's first Leadership Topics Brown Bag Lunch.

Hosted by the MSU Leadership Institute and facilitated by MSU students Rachel Hofacker and Samantha Rauser, the panel discussion focuses on how the media may be affecting the public's lives, freedoms and choices. Hofacker and Rauser, both sophomores at MSU, will lead the panel and audience through a series of student generated questions that include: Is the mass media an illegitimate branch of the government? What is the media's affect on the public's apparent apathy in the electoral process? Does the mass media limit a third party candidate's opportunity to run for office?

On the discussion panel, Dr. Franke Wilmer, chair of MSU's political science department; Dr. Seth Feinberg, who received his doctorate in sociology from Ohio State University and teaches courses at MSU on mass media, deviance, corrections and social control; Erin Westwater, a 2004 MSU graduate whose capstone research paper dealt with the mass media; and Phil Konecny, the news director for Southwest Montana CBS.

The event is free and open to the public and there will be an opportunity for questions and comments from the audience. Call the MSU Leadership Institute at 994-7275 for more information.