Services and Facilities
Use of mountain bikes, skateboards, snowboards and roller blades on campus
For the safety of all people at Vancouver Island University, the use of extreme sport equipment or vehicles is not allowed on campus. Examples include mountain biking on stairways and through the grounds; skateboarding, snowboarding and rollerblading on stairways, railings or building; street lugeing through parking lots or on ramps.
Advisors support students in clarifying, evaluating and attaining their educational goals. They do this by assisting students in developing educational plans that are structured and supported by other learning experiences such as practica, volunteering, cooperative education, peer helping, employment.
Students who are not sure of their educational goals may meet with an Advisor to explore different opportunities that are available. Advisors can provide specific program information such as admission requirements and availability. Students undecided on career choices may want to visit the Student Connections website.
Students are expected to take final responsibility for their academic plans; they are encouraged to read the Calendar (print or online), and visit VIUs Advising website to gain information before they see an Advisor.
Advisors are available to help students:
- interpret academic policies and procedures as outlined in the Calendar and elsewhere;
- understand program requirements and course prerequisites;
- access relevant support services such as academic learning centres, career counseling services, VIU career services, program coordinators, Human Rights and Respectful Workplace Advisor, and student advocates;
- gain knowledge of processes for transferring to other institutions;
- explore additional program and career options (for competitive entry programs).
At the Nanaimo campus, Advising is located in Building 200, and appointments may be arranged between 9 am and 2:30 pm, Monday to Friday. Students may also be accommodated on a drop-in basis during those hours. For information, call 250-740-6410. Advisors are also available at the Cowichan and Powell River campuses. There is a great demand on Advising Services during the summer and the first two weeks of September and January. It is strongly recommended that students see Advisors well in advance of their registration date.
Information on Programs and Courses
Students seeking admission to Vancouver Island University should discuss their program with an Advisor who will help with information on career and program requirements, transferability, and course content at VIU and other educational institutions.
Grade 12 students from the VIU region, in their final term, will have an opportunity to see a VIU Advisor for course planning at their school. Students are encouraged to complete program planning at that time.
Degree Completion Advising
Degree Advisors are available to help students with course choices in their disciplines and to ensure that students meet all graduation requirements for Vancouver Island University degrees. Most degrees require that students complete a Record of Degree Program (RDP) form with the relevant Degree Advisor before they can become eligible to graduate; see Graduation.
International Student Advising
An International Student Advisor is on staff who provides international students with advice on University programs and community support including accommodation, orientation, and recreation and social opportunities. Please call 250-740-6316 for information.
Prior Learning Assessment Advising
Students and prospective students wishing to explore the option of gaining credit for learning obtained through work, informal education and personal experience can consult with an Advisor. For information or an appointment, call 250-740-6410.
The Community and School Liaison office promotes awareness of VIUs programs, services and resources available to prospective and current students, and organizes New Student Orientation sessions.
The Alumni Relations office represents all those who have graduated with a degree, diploma or certificate from Vancouver Island University, B.C. Vocational School (1936 1971), and Malaspina College (1969 1989). The Alumni Relations office organizes alumni events and reunions, keeps graduates updated about VIU, and makes sure graduates stay in touch with classmates. To keep us informed or let us know of a change of address please contact the Alumni Office; tel 250-740-6215, fax 250-740-6485, or visit viu.ca/alumni.
Assistance Phone System
Assistance Phones are blue cylindrical "towers" located strategically around the Nanaimo Campus and are available to provide assistance to anyone in the event of any of the following:
- Personal Security:
- "Safe Walk" request
- Assistance to access buildings / offices
- medical / first-aid / fire
- vehicle / building break-in
- report suspicious activity / person
- theft / vandalism
- Any other event of an urgent nature
Should you need to activate an Assistance Phone, simply push the button labeled "HELP" on the front panel. The phone will dial, and an operator will assist you immediately. These phones are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. First aid, security, police, fire fighting or ambulance services will be dispatched immediately, as deemed appropriate by the monitoring company. Students and employees are strongly urged to familiarize themselves with the location of the phones.
In addition to the assistance phones, any campus phone or pay phone can be used to request assistance in case of an emergency. Campus phones display a decal with the emergency number—6600; some pay phones have a Campus Emergency button programmed into the keypad. All elevators on campus also have Assistance Phone buttons on the control panel, which may be used in the same circumstances.
Secured, covered containers are available for storage of bikes (non-motorized) and accessories. Bike lockers are free of charge; keys are available from the Parking/Security office, located in Building 300, and a refundable key deposit is required. Public stands are provided near many buildings, and bike users are encouraged to use high quality locks and to remove seats and/or wheels. Bikes may not be taken into buildings or left locked up to the University building, to shrubs or trees, or fixtures (e.g., handrails, lamp posts, signage, etc.).
The Vancouver Island University Bookstore carries new and used textbooks for all courses. In addition, the Bookstore has an excellent selection of general reading and reference books, art supplies, VIU athletics wear and gifts, educational software, course supplies and stationery products. A used book buyback service occurs every Friday throughout the year. Call 250-740-6200 for current hours and information, or visit the bookstore website.
Visit the Bookstore at the Nanaimo campus in the Library complex. Smaller bookstores are located at the Cowichan and Powell River campuses, and the ParksvilleQualicum Centre carries textbooks only.
Campus Career Centre
The Campus Career Centre at the Nanaimo campus helps students and alumni find the right fit for a long term career, create a competitive job search arsenal, and access work opportunities on campus and elsewhere through its Student Work Opportunities program.
Work Opportunities Program
VIUs Student Work Opportunities program provides on-campus jobs for students. There are approximately 200 part-time on-campus jobs posted each year, averaging six to eight hours per week, where students can work up to 150 hours. Wage rates are between $9 and 15 per hour. For information on positions, eligibility and how to apply, please visit the Campus Career Centre website.
The day care centre, administered by a non-profit society, is located in Building 335 on the Nanaimo campus. It serves students, VIU employees, and the community with day care for children aged three to five years. It is also a training centre for the Early Childhood Education and Care program. To include a child on the waiting list for the day care centre or for information, please phone 250-753-6931.
Clean Air Policy
It is the policy of Vancouver Island University to provide a smoke-free environment for employees, students and visitors. Smoking is prohibited within buildings on all campuses, as well as within VIU vehicles.
In accordance with Workers Compensation Board Regulations (that limit exposure to second-hand smoke in the work/study environment), people who smoke are asked to refrain from smoking at, or near, building entrances (within 5 metres), adjacent to open windows, or in outside areas designated No Smoking.
Computer Labs for Student Use
There are a number of computer labs on campus for student use. Information on location and scheduled operating hours will be available at the beginning of each term. Please note: no food or drinks are allowed in the computer labs, and software piracy will not be tolerated. See Student Conduct Policy.
Financial Aid and Awards
The Financial Aid & Awards office at the Nanaimo campus offers a variety of financial assistance including government loans and grants and institutional scholarships, awards and bursaries. For information, please call 250-740-6423, or drop in to Financial Aid & Awards in Building 200, Mondays to Fridays, 9 am to 3:30 pm. Consult the Calendar for an overview of scholarships, awards and bursaries. Please note, information on financial aid and awards is also available from Student Services areas at regional campuses.
For first aid on campus, please call local 6600 from any campus phone, or use one of the yellow emergency phones.
Food Services on Campus
VIU offers a variety of food services at the Nanaimo campus.
Two campus cafeterias, in Buildings 300 and 185, feature a wide variety of delicious meals and snacks including breakfast, lunch, and dinner, prepared by VIUs own Culinary Arts and Baking programs. Check the website for cafeteria hours: viu.ca/foodservices.
The Discovery Room, adjacent to the cafeteria in Building 300, features fine dining and is open Monday to Friday for lunch and dinner. Food is prepared and served by students in the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management programs. Reservations are recommended; call 250-740-6338. For more information, please visit: viu.ca/DiscoveryRoom.
The Velvet Underground is a pub run by the VIU Students Union and is open for pub lunches and dinners from September to April.
In addition, lunch, snacks and specialty coffees are available from the campus Subway (located in Building 163), the Jumpin Java coffee shop (located in the new Library), and various outdoor vendors.
Nanaimo campus students (with valid Vancouver Island University student cards) and community members (on a fee-for-service basis) may use this multi-purpose facility. It includes a fitness/weight room with individual weight machines, stairmasters, free weights, treadmills, elliptical and rowing machines, recumbent and exercise bikes. The main gym has courts for basketball, volleyball, badminton and soccer, as well as a convertible squash and racquetball court. Various sports equipment is also available. Hours of operation are Mondays to Fridays, 7 am to 10:30 pm, Saturdays and Sundays, 9 am to 8 pm. For information, please phone 250-740-6418.
Vancouver Island Universitys goal is to provide students with a learning environment free of discrimination. Students who think they may be experiencing discrimination or harassment because of their race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, political belief, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex (including sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination), sexual orientation, age, or unrelated prior criminal conviction can consult the Human Rights and Respectful Workplace Advisor. The Advisor can help students assess the situation, identify appropriate ways to respond, assist with dispute resolution, or commence a formal process. To contact the Human Rights and Respectful Workplace Advisor, students can call 250-740-6430; send e-mail to email@example.com; or drop into the office located in Building 200, Room 213.
The Vancouver Island University Library consists of the main Library, centrally located on the Nanaimo Campus, and branch libraries at the Cowichan and Powell River Campuses. The University Library collection contains over 230,000 books, journals, and audio-visual items. Access to the collection is provided via a web-based catalogue. Fax and electronic transmissions and courier services facilitate inter-campus and interlibrary borrowing.
Student ID cards, which also serve as library cards, are issued in the Library (Bldg.305). Borrowing privileges are also extended to all non-student residents of the University region, for a fee.
Through the Librarys membership in the Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries (COPPUL), VIU Students are able to borrow in person from other COPPUL member libraries, including University of Victoria, Royal Roads University, Simon Fraser University, and University of British Columbia. Details about COPPUL borrowing privileges are available at the Loan Desk of all VIU Libraries.
Information about specific regulations, hours and services may be obtained at the Information and Loan Desk at each campus or on the Library website.
Lost and Found
The Lost and Found function at the Nanaimo campus is operated by the Security Office, and found items are forwarded to Security, located in Building 315, Room 110. Items found during evenings or weekends can be handed in at the Cafeteria or the Library Loans Desk, or Security. Please check with the respective regional campuses for information on claiming or submitting lost and found items.
Nanaimo Art Gallery
This facility features a gift shop and two galleries. It offers an art rental program and active extension program. The Centre is administered by a non-profit society and is free of charge. Visit the Nanaimo Art Gallery website or phone 250-740-6350 for information about upcoming exhibits.
Pay parking is in effect at the Nanaimo Campus. Parking is permitted only in designated, marked parking stalls. No parking is permitted on landscaped areas or lawns. Parking is limited and on a first-come, first-parked basis.
Parking permits are available from the Parking/Security office, in Building 300, or can be purchased online. Ticket dispensers take coins and credit cards. For full details on pay parking at VIUs Nanaimo Campus and to order permits, please visit the website at viu.ca/parking.
Parking violation fines are issued for infractions. Persons with outstanding fines will not be permitted to register in courses and will not be eligible to receive a transcript of marks, certificate, diploma or degree until all outstanding fines are paid.
Alternate forms of transportation are encouraged as VIU is attempting to reduce the number of carsespecially those operated by single occupantscoming to the Nanaimo campus in an attempt to create a greener, safer campus for generations of students to come. Carpools, consisting of two or more people traveling together, are eligible for discounted parking permits. For information on carpool options, please visit viu.ca/carpool. See also Bike Lockers.
Under the terms of its pay parking policy, VIU is offering the opportunity to seek a parking space on campus, rather than guaranteeing a parking space to students, employees, and visitors. For full details on parking permits, parking regulations, Nanaimo campus parking map, transportation alternatives, please visit web.viu.ca/parking.
Pets must be kept on a leash while on campus and under direct physical control of a responsible adult. The University reserves the right to call the City Pound or the S.P.C.A. to remove animals not kept on a leash or those that pose a safety or health risk. Pets are not to be taken inside buildings, unless they are guide dogs or certified assistance dogs for persons with disabilities. Persons bringing pets on campus are responsible for the clean up and disposal of all animal waste.
Printing and Photocopying
There are photocopy machines available in the Students Union Building (Bldg. 193). Printing and photocopying is available in the Library. The VIU ID card is also a copy/print card. Separate blank copy/print cards can be purchased, and cash value can be added to the card through dispensers in the Library and International Building (255), or from Loan Desk staff in the Library.
The Registration Centre, located in Building 200 at the Nanaimo campus, houses the Admissions, Registration, and Records departments. In addition, Registration services are available at the Cowichan, ParksvilleQualicum, and Powell River campuses.
Scholarships and Awards
Applications and information are available through the Financial Aid & Awards office in Building 200. Consult the Calendar for an overview of scholarship and award policies and a listing of the awards available.
Student Activity Building
Building 185, commonly called the SAB, houses food services and a lounge area.
The Campus Career Centre posts on-campus, summer, part-time and permanent jobs, and helps students and graduates launch their careers. See Campus Career Centre.
The Student Services department provides a wide range of services to prospective and enrolled students. For information on these services or an appointment, please visit the website at viu.ca/studentservices, or contact each campus.
- In Nanaimo
Building 200, 900 Fifth Street. Mondays to Fridays, 8:30 am 3:30 pm, in person; 8:30 4 pm by telephone. Tel. 250-740-6416.
- In Duncan
2011 University Way. Mondays to Fridays, 8:30 am 4 pm. Tel. 250-746-3509.
- In Powell River
Building 610, Room 118, 100-7085 Nootka Street. Mondays to Thursdays, 8:30 am 4:30 pm; hours may varycontact the campus for an up-to-date schedule. Tel. (604) 485-2878.
- In Parksville
Parksville Civic & Technology Centre, second floor. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, 9 am 4 pm (hours may vary). Tel. 250-248-2096.
Assessment Services provide entrance and placement testing for a variety of programs. Exams for other colleges and institutions are also administered. For more information, please visit viu.ca/assessments, or call 250-740-6416 in Nanaimo, or the Student Services office at the regional campuses.
The Campus Career Centre will help students master the secrets to making the right career decision and following the steps to successful career achievement. Visit viu.ca/career.
Connect for Success
For those who are undecided about their academic focus and/or career, VIUs Student Success website has online resources and services to help individuals map out their career and educational plans.
Counsellors at VIU are professionally trained to respond to a wide range of issues and provide immediate, confidential service to enrolled students. Counselling staff are also familiar with the spectrum of resources available in the community and can assist students to access those supports.
At the Nanaimo campus, the Counselling department is located on the 3rd floor of Building 200. The reception desk is down the hall from the Registration office. Students can drop in between the hours of 8:30 am and 3 pm for a session with the available counselor. Students can also call 250-740-6416 to make an appointment with the counsellor of their choice. For more information, visit the website at viu.ca/counselling.
Students at VIUs regional campuses may schedule counselling appointments through the Student Services Offices.
Personal Counselling and Crisis Counselling
Students experience the full spectrum of issues, challenges and life events during their post secondary years. For assistance to respond to those events, challenges and issues, students can drop by the Counselling office for their initial session with the available counsellor.
Career and Educational Counselling
Counsellors support students to clarify career goals by assisting them to identify assets and interests. Students are invited to book individual sessions and use online resources to engage in self-directed research. Students struggling to make the adjustment to post-secondary studies are invited to work with counsellors to develop skills supportive of their success as a student.
Workshops and Groups
Workshops are scheduled in a timely manner throughout the year to support study skills and personal development needs. From time to time, group counselling sessions are arranged to permit students mutual support and understanding as they make their way through similar challenges.
Counsellors are available to consult with students, faculty and staff as they seek to support others to access the full range of counselling concerns.
Learning Centre at Cowichan Campus
At the Cowichan campus, students can get assistance in the form of one-on-one learning skills counselling, study support, hand-outs, assessment preparation assistance, volunteer tutors and workshops on anxiety and other school related issues. Call 250-746-3509.
Vancouver Island University students with documented disabilities may be entitled to reasonable accommodation. Accommodation is determined on an individual basis and must be supported by current documents from a qualified professional. Students are responsible for requesting accommodation and provide documentation one month prior to the semester start date.
Students with documented disabilities requiring academic and/or exam accommodation are encouraged to contact Disability Services (Bldg 200, main floor) at the beginning of the semester. Failure to apply by October 31 or February 28 could result in no accommodation.
Contact Student Services at the following numbers for an appointment: Nanaimo Campus, Building 200, 250-740-6416; Cowichan Campus 250-746-3509; Powell River Campus (604) 485-2878; ParksvilleQualicum Centre 250-248-2096, or visit the website at: viu.ca/studentservices.
The Nanaimo campus has a Services for Aboriginal Students team to assist First Nations/Aboriginal students (status, non-status, Inuit, Metis) make a successful transition to Vancouver Island University and enable students to succeed in their educational endeavours by providing direct services and appropriate referrals. Please drop by Building 170 phone 250-740-6510, or visit viu.ca/sas.
At regional campuses, First Nations/Aboriginal students can get assistance at the Student Services department. Students interested in sponsorship should contact their First Nations or Metis organization.
Under the Student-Assisting-Student program, student assistants are hired to help students with documented disabilities. For more information on services provided under the Student-Assisting-Student program, please contact 250-740-6416.
Students can get help at the Instructional Technology Help Desk, the Math Learning Centre, the Writing Centre, and the Adult Basic Education Learning Centre. The Counselling Centre can also offers assistance in the form of study technique workshops.
At the Cowichan campus, students can get assistance in the form of one-on-one learning skills counseling, hand-outs, assessment preparation assistance, volunteer tutors, workshops, as well as issues of anxiety and other school-related issues. Call 250-746-3509.
Technology services include high-speed and wireless networks, computer labs, multimedia production facilities, and much more. For a comprehensive list of resources, please check the Technology @ VIU website.
Math Learning Centre
The Math Learning Centre, located in Building 360, is staffed by qualified student tutors who offer assistance with Math assignments.
The Writing Centre is located in Room 447 on the fourth floor of the Library. It is staffed by English instructors who offer free, one-on-one assistance with writing essays, reports, resumes, proposals, and other forms. They help with grammar, punctuation, documenting sources, organization, expression, and any other concerns with writing. Students may sign up for a half-hour session, and drop-ins are also welcome.
At the Cowichan campus, sign up for one-on-one assistance at the Writing Centre located in the Credit Programs department, Building 2.
Adult Basic Education Learning Centre
Staff at the Adult Basic Education Learning Centre help students prepare for their assessment/placement and give them a head start on upgrading classes for which they are registered. Students taking ABE courses can also get help with their courses.
The Malaspina Theatre seats 294 people and is used for dramatic and musical events throughout the year. It is used extensively for University programs but can be rented by community groups on an hourly or daily basis. For information, call 250-741-2446.
Updated October 24, 2012