Students petting a therapy dog

Student Pulse News: October 6, 2021

October 6, 2021

Therapy dogs, Halloween fun and research tips 😄

As mid-terms approach, we wanted to check in to see how everyone is doing. Need some extra help? We share some resources below. What about a break from studying? We’ve got some suggestions for you. If you’re not sure where to go, you can always start by hitting reply to this email. 

Need to know

Wellness Peers 👫

Being a student can be overwhelming at times, but talking to someone who gets it can help. Got questions? Looking for a resource? Or just need someone to talk to? Connect with a VIU Wellness Peer – a student volunteer trained to help you navigate student life and thrive! In honour of World Mental Health Day, the VIU Wellness Peer program is launching this week on the Nanaimo Campus! For more information check out our webpage.

World Mental Health Day 🌎🧠

World Mental Health Day is Sunday, October 10. In honour of this important day, join the Thrive team in the Quad from 10 am to 2 pm on October 6 and 7 for connection, fun wellness activities, therapy dogs, resources and more!

Engaged Citizens speaker addresses the housing crisis 🏠

Join us on October 14 for an evening of dialogue about the housing crisis. Our fifth Engaged Citizens Speaker Series features Leilani Farha, Global Director of The Shift, Erin Hemmens, Nanaimo City Councillor, Michael Lait, VIU Post-Doctoral Researcher and Instructor, and Dr. Pam Shaw, Director of VIU’s Master of Community Planning program. This virtual event is free, please register in advance.


Halloween Movie Night 👻🎃🦇

Fun@VIU is excited to partner with the Satyr Players Club and Mariners Spirit to bring to you a Halloween Movie Night on October 29. The movies will be Goosebumps followed by a concession, then The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Tickets are $5. Register online prior to the event or at the door on the night of! And most important: wear a costume! 

A Drama Class’ Dream 

VIU’s Theatre Department presents A Drama Class’ Dream, adapted by Ross Desprez, on October 14, 15 and 16 at 7 pm and October 16 at 2 pm at Malaspina Theatre. Tickets $5 for students, $10 general available on Eventbrite website. Proof of vaccination required.

Westwood Lake Witch Paddle

Join the VIU Students' Union for a Halloween witch paddle at Westwood Lake! Bring your stand-up paddle board or kayak, life jacket and costume and have a fun paddle on the lake. We’ll be stationed at the beach near the second main parking lot. Also bring your reusable mug to get some free hot chocolate and coffee to help warm you up after!

Orange Shirt sales raise money for bursaries

Every year, the Campus Store sells Orange Shirt Day shirts, with $8 from each shirt going towards the Every Child Matters bursary fund. The store sold 714 orange shirts this year, raising more than $5,700! This means that the fund can distribute 11 $500 bursaries to Indigenous students in need this year. Huge thanks to all in the VIU community and beyond for helping us reach this important milestone!

Cheer on the Mariners ⭐️⚽️

The Mariners men’s and women’s soccer team home closer takes place October 17. Women play at 11:45 am and men at 2:15 pm! It’s a noisemaker game, so vuvuzelas, pots and pans, drums and anything else one can think of to make some noise for our Mariners. We will also be saying goodbye to our senior players this game, some of them after six years of varsity athletics! Appearances from VIU Mariners Spirit, Hope and Health, and Nanaimo United Football Club at halftime are also something to look forward to at this game. While one season is closing, another is just starting up! Our Men’s Hockey Team’s home opener is on October 23, 7 pm at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. 

re-view-ed: an Arts & Humanities faculty exhibition  ✏️🎨

On now until October 7 in The View Gallery (Building 330 on VIU’s Nanaimo campus), faculty from visual art, graphic design, interior design and theatre are showcasing works in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, mixed media and installation. The closing reception takes place Thursday, October 7 from 5-7 pm. Learn more.

Sustained attention and breaks study 📱

Are you between 18 and 40 years old and do you own a cellphone and use Instagram and Facebook? VIU undergrad psychology student Tara Coop is hoping VIU students will participate in her study, which aims to understand how people can benefit from rest breaks after periods of sustained attention. Participate in the study.

SDG Launch

Wondering what you can do to become a better advocate for sustainable development? The Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute has partnered with the Foundation for Environmental Stewardship and VanCity to bring the Sustainable Development Goals’ Launch program to VIU. Students will have opportunities to connect with UN speakers and youth activists. The program, which runs Oct. 19, 21 and 22, is virtual and free for VIU students. For more info or to register visit the SDG Launch website.

Supports & services

Tips for academic success

Are things starting to get hectic as mid-terms approach? Want some great ideas for studying more effectively, managing time, becoming a better learner, etc? Visit Bounce Back: Tips for Academic Success, created by VIU advisors. As always, consider connecting with an Advisor (in-person, by Zoom, phone or email).

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction 

Have you ever wondered what mindfulness means and how it might be beneficial for you as a student? Join the VIU counsellors for eight weeks of mindfulness practice to help reduce stress and improve functioning. This group is free for all students. Check out the webpage for all details and info on how to register. 

Want to learn better, feel better and do better?

As you approach mid-term season are you looking for motivation, energy, well-being and academic success? If so, we’ve got the program for you! Join our innovative new program where you can learn better, feel better and do better. Check out all the details and register for our fall Zoom session here!

International Education front desk service hour changes ⌚️

As the busyness of the first few weeks of the semester have now subsided, the International Education Front Reception Desk in Building 255 will be open 10 am to 2 pm Monday to Friday (not 8 am – 4 pm). This change in service delivery hours includes in-person drop-ins at the front desk, as well as active monitoring of the reception phone line. Our online, email and other services remain available as outlined on our website.

Research help in the library 📖

Have questions about your assignments and want some research help? Reach out to the library’s Research Help service, available through online live chat, one-on-one Zoom appointments and email. Your VIU ID card provides you with 24-7 access to the library as well as other perks like printing and photocopying!

Research, funding and skills training

Interested in learning more about research? Getting some funding? Acquiring more workplace knowledge economy skills? Yes, those are things. And yes, they are super important. Check out the latest student updates from Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity.

Share your thoughts about VIU’s draft Academic Plan 💭

Building on VIU’s successes in the last four years and the consultation completed for the Strategic Plan, an advisory group has begun to draft a new Academic Plan proposing new goals, objectives and strategies for 2021-26. The group now needs your thoughts and feedback to continue to shape the plan as we move forward. Log in to VIU’s Academic Plan Consultation to read the draft and add your thoughts between now and midnight on October 12, 2021. Contact if you would like further information.

New academic integrity policy moves from enforcement to nurturing

Are you aware that in May 2021 VIU Senate approved revisions to our academic integrity policies and procedures? The new procedure is a marked departure from our old “Student Academic Code of Conduct” in that it differentiates between “poor academic practice” and intentional “cheating,” and focuses more on “corrective action” than “discipline.” The Academic Integrity Working Group is undertaking an education and promotion campaign soon, which students will be invited to get involved in.

Free text to speech program for all students 💬

Kurzweil is a free text-to-speech program available to all employees and students in the VIU Community. The program also features study skills, word prediction, writing templates, concept maps and templates, text to MP3 and a variety of other tools. This tool is also a great addition for English Language Learner students as it has definitions, pronunciations and a variety of languages. If you are interested in your own copy of the software, please email Please note that VIU does not provide training or IT support on this third-party license. 

NexGen Business Training

Have you always wanted to start your own business? Stillwater Consulting’s free NexGen Business Training program provides you with the structure and support to make that dream a reality. The 10-week entrepreneur development program is fully funded for BC youth up to age 29 and is delivered in a high-tech, virtual classroom. The program starts October 18 and is funded through the BC government’s Workforce Development Agreement. Learn more and apply.

Off-campus housing tips 🏠

Got questions about off-campus housing? The Off-Campus Housing Coordinator will be available for drop-in visits for the foreseeable future on the following days:

  • Tuesdays 2 – 3:30 pm in the International Building (255);
  • Thursdays 2:30 – 3:30 pm in the Upper Cafeteria.

Mark your calendars

Deadline to apply for VIU Bursaries: October 31 💰

#DYK that the deadline to apply for VIU bursaries is noon on October 31? There are hundreds of financial awards available at VIU for almost every program, as well as several general ones. To apply for all of them, all you have to do is fill out your Scholarship, Award and Bursary Profile.

COVID-19 updates

Vaccine self-declaration due date: October 1 💉😷

To everyone who completed their vaccine self-declaration by the October 1 deadline - thank you! If you haven’t had a chance yet, be sure to complete it by following these steps.

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