Campus Checklist



By Colin Walsh

If you’re having trouble getting acclimated to life at UK, or if you just want to get free stuff for going to school-sponsored events, the TallyCats team is here to help.

TallyCats, a Student Government-conceived program that rewards its participants for attending school-sponsored events, has grown into a program that has increased retention rates and gained national attention in the process.

The program, which was introduced last fall, uses the Wildcard UK ID.  To be eligible for prizes such as notebook computers, parking passes and GPS systems, a student can show up at a TallyCats event and swipe his Wildcard on a card reader held by a TallyCats team member.

This year, Student Government has started making improvements to the TallyCats program. A new website, to start within a week, will link in with Twitter and Facebook.  The number of TallyCats events is also increasing — 44 K Week events are affiliated with the program.

K Week TallyCats events are listed in the K Week books distributed to freshmen, and students can locate TallyCats team members in neon green shirts.

SG President Ryan Smith is one of the creators of TallyCats and praised the program.  Smith said he has been contacted by 10 other universities regarding the success of TallyCats.

“Last year we had 5,000 people participate in the program … it was a huge success.

“This year we are trying to bring it to another level by increasing awareness and the number of events,” Smith said. “In addition, it has increased retention rates and student involvement.”

According to a report by the UK Office Of Institutional Research, 91.1 percent of TallyCats participating freshmen from last year are returning for the fall semester.

TallyCats participating freshmen also maintained better grades, averaging a 3.09 GPA, significantly higher than the non-TallyCats freshman who averaged a 2.72, according to the report.

Katelyn Banks, coordinator of TallyCats, aims to increase the number of events and improve awareness of the program among freshmen.

“Our main focus for this year is to make sure that things are running smoothly and that people are aware of the program,” Banks said. “We hit K Week really hard to let ­freshmen know about TallyCats and what it can offer them throughout their careers at UK.”

Banks said TallyCats aims to continue its success through the rest of the year.

“We are making sure that a lot of events are tied into TallyCats,” she said. “No matter how big or small, our goal is to try to have an event every day.”