The staff editorial is the majority opinion of The Murray State News Editorial Board.
Human error is a fact of life. Nobody is perfect. Everyone oversleeps every now and then or puts too much creamer in their coffee. We make mistakes and move on.
A $14,000 mistake is one that goes a little bit beyond human error, though.
Reporter Bailey Bohannon wrote a story for the news section this week that goes into more detail, but here’s the gist of it: Public Safety and Emergency Management spent $14,000 on parking tags that ended up being visually obstructive due to their unexpectedly large size. David Burdette, chief facilities officer, is the one who chalked it up to “human error.”
Now, one would think, if something costs just about as much as Murray State’s tuition, the order would be checked, double-checked and triple-checked – especially when people already see red when anything related to “Murray State parking” is mentioned.
Instead, Public Safety mistakenly ordered $14,000 worth of safety hazards. The irony is not lost on us.
They then had to turn around and spend another $9,000 to order the right ones, but waited until there was less than a month before the fall semester started to do so.
There is a fine line between human error and incompetence.
The harsh tone of this piece stems from frustration.
The $14,000 wasted on the wrong parking tags will have to come out of the parking lot maintenance budget, creating even more safety hazards.
So we will have the right-sized, still expensive parking tags, but potholes and speed bumps will likely remain problematic because they’re cutting the budget to fix them.
The cost of their mistake is covered, but at our expense.
If you walk around on campus and look at your surroundings, there are a lot of things that need fixing or updating.
Instead, they seem to keep building new buildings instead of fixing ones that are, quite literally, crumbling.
People are living in and going to class in buildings where mold, broken floor tiles, faulty air conditioning and cracked walls have yet to be taken care of.
Building new residential colleges and academic facilities on top of our already slim parking options doesn’t seem like the best solution or use of money.
The cobblestone on the main walkway to class is littered with potholes, but recently we got several new benches along that walkway instead. What’s a heavily used path without the flair of an obstacle course, after all?
Quite a few classrooms are equipped with Smart Boards. The use of technology in the classroom is necessary, so there’s no fault there.
However, several professors neglect to use them at all – pulling the projector screen down over it and using their tried and true presentation methods instead.
Were the professors trained to use this kind of technology? Did they even want it before it was ordered?
When handling and spending so much of other people’s money, Murray State needs to know the difference between excessive and necessary spending.
There’s never a right time or place for human error – but there are times and places where it goes too far.