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DIGITAL BYTE: Meet Lenny The “Catbot”

Mascot, Lenny the “Catbot” (LTC), has gone digital. As a smart text-based AI bot, he can provide students responses in real time, anytime. Think of him like a Siri who texts and is on the clock 24/7. His average response time when you contact him: Three seconds and that’s on a bad day. Text him at 2 a.m.? No problem, he’s wide awake, replies almost immediately, and is quite chipper at that time. Did we mention, he can text in over 100 languages, as well as understand jargon? No big deal. 

Though LTC just arrived at UST, he’s already become quite popular with students. His first semester on campus, LTC has already received over 16,200 text messages from students. He’s always in the know, consistently informing our campus about important events and inviting students to engaging programs. 

The best part about LTC is how he partners with real people on the things technology can’t do on its own. A perfect example is how we recently used LTC to support our campus right after the winter storms in Texas. LTC was able to text out a survey that students could fill out to let us know how impacted they were, and what needs they had due to the weather. Within 15 minutes of deployment, we had 300 student responses. During the next 12 hours, we had over 600 responses. Within the next 24 hours, using the individually actionable data that LTC provided us, staff members in student affairs and other partners across campus began to contact all students who were affected.

This was an incredible win for our campus, as well as an opportunity for us to live out our Catholic mission of caring for each other’s needs. What was beautiful is that thanks to LTC and great internal coordination, we did in about three days what in the past could have easily taken three weeks. What a great example of technology facilitating human interaction and connection!  

About the Author — David Hao, MA, JD

AvatarDavid Q. Hao, MA, JD, is a recovering attorney turned student affairs junkie addicted to creating ecosystems of human thriving and lifelong learning. He currently serves as the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students at UST.

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