TallyCats program enhances through technology

By Kayla Pickrell

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The TallyCats program saw a 71 percent increase in uniques users during K Week compared with last year.

A unique user is considered as one swipe per person, said Karah Brown, the TallyCats director.

During K Week, there were 2,964 uniques users, compared with the 1,733 users from K Week 2011, Student Government Vice President Mary Katherine Kington said.

“We are a little surprised by the outcome,” she said.

TallyCats gave out prizes for those who swiped the most during K Week.

This year they rewarded students with an iPad, two iPod Touches, two iPod Nanos and UK gear.

However, it isn’t the prizes Kington thinks helped the influx of users.

“There’s a new director and public relations director this year,” she said. “Their energy has contributed to the increase.”

It is also the fourth year for TallyCats, and Brown said students are inclined to participate because they have been around to see the program form.

“We are starting to try to target the upperclassmen,” Brown said.

Kington said the increase helped because of the record freshmen on campus this year.

“The student body was more aware of the program,” Brown said.

Over the summer, TallyCats received a technology upgrade. Students have their UK ID swiped on iPod Touches with a “credit card-like” swiper on top of the device.

After being swiped, students can see their picture and the ranking of points among other students.

“That has been a vital aspect of us growing,” Brown said.

Brown said they are looking into getting text alerts set up so students can easily figure out where they are ranked.

“(The old technology) used to be a terrible system, but it’s all we had,” Kington said.

TallyCats is also a year-long program, which Kington said is something not well-known among students.

“A lot of studuents are confused as to how long the program runs,” Kington said.

For the year, larger prizes are granted for semester-long tallies, such as free parking passes.

“This year has been a breakthrough year for TallyCats,” Brown.

Students can look at upcoming TallyCats events on the website, www.tallycats.com.

“We want them to be involved and immerse themselves in the UK community through the TallyCats program,” Kington said.