Chapman-Robinson platform explains what “giving a shit” really means

Rachel Lew

Executive alliance candidates Daniel James Chapman and Austin James Robinson have two things in common: they have the same middle name and, more importantly, they give a shit.

Economics and mathematics senior Chapman, economics and mathematics senior is involved in Omicron Delta Epsilon, Economics Honors Society, and Q&A, an LGBTQ Asian-American group. He is also the advocacy policy director within the Executive Branch of Student Government. Robinson, English and UTeach liberal arts senior, is involved in Texas Blazers, Alpha Phi Omega and Education Council.

Chapman and Robinson filmed a campaign video at Texas A&M asking students if they have heard of current UT Student Government President Xavier Rotnofsky and Vice President Rohit Mandalapu.

“Wait, that was A&M?” Robinson said. “I thought that was UT. But seriously, we just wanted to make people laugh and trick some Aggies in the process. You’d be surprised at the amount of students at A&M who think that Rotnofsky-Mandalapu is their current study body executive alliance.” 

Chapman said the campaign theme “We Give a Shit” was inspired by his friend’s idea.

“We give a shit in the sense that we truly care about all students here at UT, not just the ones who vote in SG elections,” Chapman said. “This is something we touch on in our platform — trying to get students civically engaged not just with SG but with city and state politics as well.”

Their platform includes promoting real inclusivity, increasing university affordability, addressing the issues of student mental health and of sexual assault and making UT more democratic by adding Student Government assembly seats for various geographic regions including West Campus, North Campus and Riverside.

“People think we’re in the race only for satirical purposes, but we are 100 percent serious,” Chapman said.

Delaynie Fritz, Chapman’s friend and history sophomore, said Chapman is always helping people. She met Chapman while volunteering at a camp for middle and high schoolers.

“He’s always going out of his way for the people he cares about — which seems to be everyone he meets,” Fritz said. “He gets super involved in things he’s passionate about.”

Robinson, a first-generation college student from Brownwood, Texas, said he loves volunteering, specifically for educational purposes such as at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and VICTORY Tutorial. Robinson said he is the most qualified because he has the same name as one of Barack Obama’s nephews.

Robinson, who hopes to be a high school English teacher, said his mom is mad at him for including the word “shit” in his campaign and thinks he should change it to “shoot.”

Christina Boatman, Robinson’s friend and social work junior, said Robinson is the greatest friend and mentor she has ever had.

“He is incredibly selfless and the greatest source of support in my life,” Boatman said. “When I was changing my major, Austin [Robinson] supported me every step of the way and even got me in contact with the assistant dean of the School of Social Work. His compassion and dedication towards others is definitely something that makes him stand out among his peers.”