Dan Schnur dreamed of becoming a journalist, so he did what any aspiring reporter might do: enroll in a Minnesota college as a political science major and become the newspaper editor. He thought it would be the “path of least resistance” to achieving his goals.Politico · Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute Dan Schnur regularly moderates panels related to state and national politics. – Carlo Acenas | Daily TrojanHe soon learned, however, that simply studying politics was not enough. At 19 years old, he traveled from his Wisconsin home to Washington, D.C., to volunteer for Ronald Reagan’s 1984 presidential campaign over the summer.“After a couple years of taking political science classes, I wanted to try it myself,” Schnur said. “I was young enough and dumb enough that rather than finding a local campaign, I decided to go for the gold.”By the end of his summer in Washington, D.C., he had become a full-time staff member. His boss recommended that he return to college if he wanted to continue in politics, so he finished his degree at American University in Washington, D.C.Schnur, however, didn’t think he would go on to teach politics. After a few more presidential campaigns, he became an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley and USC, and found himself loving the classroom.In 2008, he became the director of USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics and a full-time professor. He took a leave of absence in 2010 to work for California’s Political Practices Commission, but says he was glad to return to campus.“I’ve quit politics for good three times now,” Schnur said. “I really do believe that now I’m done for good. That’s how much I love what I’m doing here at USC.”Though his political expertise aids him in teaching political science courses, he aims to do much more than simply teach; he wants to inspire students to get involved in politics. The summer of his first campaign, he learned that politics is a place where young people can make a difference right away, a lesson he likes to share with his students.Despite his work on several presidential campaigns and for other notable organizations, some of Schnur’s favorite memories come from his work with the Unruh Institute. He became director with one major goal: getting students involved in politics. His solution was “to bring the political world to campus,” and he created several programs to promote involvement.The institute co-sponsors Students Talk Back lunches with the Daily Trojan to promote conversation among students and professionals. The institute also runs various events every semester, including panel discussions with professionals; Schnur’s only rule is that students must be involved, “not just as audience members, but as participants.”One of his most memorable moments at USC was after the 2008 presidential election, when the institute worked with Politico and the Daily Trojan to run a two-day conference with panels featuring advisers from the McCain and Obama campaigns and USC students. Each panel was co-moderated by editors of both publications, and saw students engaging in discussion with professionals, who were instructed to “treat them like adults.”“Watching a bunch of 19-to-21-year-old USC students going toe-to-toe with professionals and holding their own was a revelatory experience,” Schnur said. “Students didn’t have the opportunity to just ask questions, but to be involved.”Schnur has seen more than 100 students go on to work in the government, politics or political media, and said he never would have had this influence without teaching.“Don’t get me wrong, I love politics,” Schnur said. “But after so many years of doing it, I realized the best contribution I could make was helping young people get involved on their own terms. When students ask me why I’m not on the campaign track anymore, I tell them, ‘It’s your turn.’”
Ghana won its first medal at the ongoing African Youth Championship after weightlifter Juliana Arko secured a silver medal in the girl’s 63kg category on Friday.Arko, who was competing in her first major international competition after winning eight medals at the African Weightlifting Championships in Casablanca, Morocco last year, finished with a total of 140kg.She went through the initial snatch phase of the competition with three lifts, and rounded up with three lifts in the clean-and-jerk.She was prevented from taking a gold medal by an Egyptian athlete (Sarah) while a Moroccan won third place.The 2013 SWAG Weightlifter of the Year is one of three athletes on a Ghana Olympic Committee sourced Olympic Solidarity Scholarship, and has already qualified to compete in the World Youth Championship in Nanjing, in August.In a related development, Ghana’s other Weightlifter at the AYG, Christian Amoah will be chasing a medal and qualification to the World Youth Championship when he competes in the boy’s 77kg event on Saturday. Meanwhile the President of the discipline, Ben Nunoo Mensah believes their best is yet to come Badminton: Team Ghana misses out on semi finals slotGhana’s Badminton Team missed out on a place in the semi finals of the Team event despite an impressive second day performance which saw the young team beating Seychelles 5:0 in their last Group B game.Team Ghana lost 5:0 to South Africa in their opening Group game on Thursday as Coach Jacob Wilson’s boys and girls struggled with the cold weather conditions and altitude in Gaborone, having only arrived two days to the opening game.The mixed doubles pair of Emmanuel Botwe and Victoria Asmah went down to South Africa’s Von Bodestein and A. Schoones 22-20 21-9.Victoria Asmah partnered Diana Archer in the Women’s doubles event but could not restore parity for Team Ghana as they were overwhelmed by A. Schoones and G. Roberts to lose 21-19 21-15. Diana Archer also lost the women’s singles to J. Van Der Vyver 21-12 21-11.Ghana’s Abraham Ayittey, the second athlete on a GOC sourced Olympic Solidarity scholarship, then engaged R. Synman in a gruelling men’s singles encounter which could have gone either way. Ayittey clawed back his way into the tie after losing the first set but eventually lost 21-14 19-21 22-20.The men’s doubles game witnessed a much closer encounter with the pair of Abraham Ayittey and Mohammed Adam winning the first set but B. Von Bodestein and B. Visser staged a dramatic come back to win 18-21 21-15 22-20.Despite their opening day lose, Coach Jacob Wilson’s boys and girls mounted a serious challenge in their next game against Egypt to secure one of the semi finals slot in the group.Abraham Ayittey was the star of the show, beating Egypt’s Yousef Essam 21:12 21:10 in the boy’s singles event after the mixed doubles pair Emmanuel Botwe and Victoria Asmah had lost 21:16 21-8 to Egypt’s Elgamal Adham and Mostafa Farida. After Diana Archer also lost 21-13 21-12 to Hany Doha in the girl’s singles event, Ayittey partnered Mohammed Adam in the boy’s doubles event as they came back from a set down to beat Egypt’s Elgamal Adham and Abdelhakim Abdallah 13-21 21-17 21-17.But Diana Archer and Victoria Asmah could not hold the nerve in the deciding game, losing 21-18 18-21 21-11 to Egypt’s Hany Doha and Mostafa Farida.In their last group game against Seychelles, Team Ghana secured a comprehensive victory, winning 5:0 overall.Meanwhile, Ghana has entered five candidates in the singles event which starts on Sunday.Table Tennis: Team Ghana progresses Marian Amankwah Adom and Isaac Amoako are through to the 1/16 stage of their singles event after winning their group games at the ongoing African Youth Games on the opening day of the Table Tennis competition on Friday.Drawn in group B of the girl’s singles event, Marian Amankwah Adom defeated Algeria’s Sannah Lagsir and Uganda’s Florence Serra, 3:0 respectively.Isaac Amoako also advanced with 3:0 wins against Botswana’s Peo Thebe and Tunisia’s Karem Ben Yahia respectively.The competition continues on Saturday.Swimming: Ghana’s lone swimmer, Ophelia Swayne is set to be in action in Day three of the competition in the 50-free style and 50 butterfly events respectively. The competition will serve as a qualifier for the World Youth Olympics in Nanjing, in August. Ophelia is the third Ghanaian youth athlete on a GOC sourced Olympic Solidarity scholarship.