Bloomberg led a listening session with student leaders in The Leadership Council to get their suggestions on cutting costs and raising funds at OCCC.
Bloomberg told the students that OCCC’s budget has been hit by a loss of tax revenue.
The decreasing price of oil is having a major effect on the state budget, he said, noting that Oklahoma cannot spend more money than it collects in taxes.
He noted that Oklahoma is putting a larger and larger burden of higher education costs on students.
In 1988, 75 percent of higher education funding came from the state, Bloomberg said, but in 2016 it is now 35 percent. Students are paying bigger tuition bills and these costs to students are expected to continue rising to some extent.
“The tuition will go up but it will not double,” Bloomberg said. The decision about how much tuition should rise will be made after the full budget is reviewed.
Final budget numbers will not come from the state Legislature until April or May.
The student council members wrote down their suggestions for ways the college could save money. Then the suggestions were written on a writing surface for everyone to see.
One suggestion was adjusting temperatures on the air conditioning to cut down the use of electricity.
Another was to close off areas of the campus when not in use to save on heating, air conditioning, and lighting.
One student recommended reducing the amount of printing paper used on campus.
The students also came up with ideas to help the college raise more money.
One suggestion was renting spaces to food trucks.
Another thought was to make food management a class so students would provide part of the staffing for a grade.
Another thought was to charge at the wellness center and for exercise classes.
One person suggested that students who spend a lot of time on campus would pay to rent nap pods if they were available.
A final thought was to have people pay for parking.
For more information or to provide additional feedback, contact Bloomberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.