Rock VIU students gathering on rooftop

VIU Student Pulse: August 17, 2022

August 17, 2022

Your ultimate back-to-school guide 🎒

Back to school is just a few weeks away! In this first edition of the Student Pulse newsletter for the 2022-23 academic year, we have the information you need to get off to a good start.
For new students looking to get familiar with VIU services and supports in advance of school start-up, RockVIU new student orientation starts on August 29. More details below! 

Need to know

RockVIU new student orientation 🤩

Are you a new or returning student looking for info on services, supports and resources, or to connect with peers? Come to RockVIU 2022, which runs August 29 to September 2 this year. Activities include campus excursions, fireside chats, the Connect Fair Festival, Q&A panels, block party socials and the Summer Nights Festival and Drive-in Movie night. More information is available on the RockVIU homepage. Registration is now open!

Welcome Week: September 6, 7 and 8 🙋‍♀️

During the first week of school thousands of students come through the front doors of the Students’ Union Building to buy textbooks, bus passes, manage their health and dental plan, and visit the campus pub. Throughout this week we create a festive atmosphere with music, interesting vendors and giveaways for students in front of our building from 10 am – 2 pm. Welcome Week will be held outdoors in front of the VIUSU building. Volunteer to help out.

FROSH Week 2022: September 20, 21 and 22 🥳

FROSH Week 2022 is an exciting, VIUSU-organized, three-day festival to celebrate and welcome all new and returning students at Vancouver Island University.Volunteer to help out at these events:

  • Paint your FROSH: September 20, 3 to 6 pm in the RBC Plaza (beside the bus loop).
  • Pancake breakfast: September 21 from 8 to 11 am (or until we run out) outside the VIUSU building (193).
  • Outdoor concert ft. DiRTY RADiO, WASAKAKA and ANUSHKA KASHYAP.September 22, 4 to 9 pm in the RBC Plaza (beside the bus loop). 

Seeking Student Ambassadors 📣

Want to share your knowledge of campus and all the wonderful opportunities and supports VIU has to offer prospective and new students? As a Student Ambassador you will have the opportunity to earn money while taking courses and engage and support the Office of Future Students and the Advising Centre in a few different ways:

  1. Provide campus tours to prospective and new VIU students.
  2. Participate in on-campus and off-campus recruitment and student support events.
  3. Share your VIU student experience during face-to-face and virtual events.

View the job posting and apply through CareerView. Feel free to send your questions to


Road Trips and Local Hikes 🥾🌲

Join the Cultural Connections Road Trips team as we embark on exciting adventures to awe-inspiring locations. Every semester, we prepare a schedule of seasonal weekly Road Trips activities available to all registered VIU students. We also head outdoors and explore some of the most scenic and awe-inspiring local hiking trails Nanaimo and has to offer with the Local Hikes program. Be sure to check out the International Monthly Event Calendar for more details.

Campus Store gear sale 👕

Want some VIU swag for the fall? From August 17 to September 2, get 20% off VIU-branded apparel (in-store only).

Take your studies abroad 🌍

The Education Abroad office wishes Bon Voyage to our first outbound Exchange students in two years! If you’re interested in taking your studies abroad, apply by October 6 for the VIU Exchange program. Study in English at one of our 20+ partner universities around the world. Funding opportunities are available, be sure to check out the Education Abroad website for more info.

Sunshine, surfing and social media ☀️🏄‍♀️📱

With summer vacation and staycations wrapping up, you might feel tempted to share the latest and greatest events on social media. But social media communication is not done without risk. 
Connect and practice safe social this year with these security tips: 

Looking for more? Check out your cyber security backpack.

Meditation, prayer and reflection spaces 🧘‍♀️

Did you know that VIU’s Nanaimo campus has meditation, prayer and reflection spaces available to all VIU students and employees? Come to Building 200, Rooms 107a and 107b. If you have any questions about this, please email

Malaspina Theatre podcast 🎤

Did you know the Malaspina Theatre has a podcast? Recent episodes include “…with PRIDE,” “Neurodiverse Theatre” and “Reconciliation Theatre.” Check it out on Apple podcasts.

Hand in Hand Intergenerational Storytelling Project 🖐

Volunteers needed! Connect with a senior through the power of storytelling. The Hand in Hand Intergenerational Storytelling Project is looking for volunteers for this project that connects volunteers with seniors. You can develop your journalism skills, gain wisdom and keep a senior connected all by helping them to tell their story. For more information email Gwen at

Supports and services

Get your VIU ID card at the Library to access buildings and more 💳

Welcome to new and returning students! Be sure to check out VIU Library’s Getting Started guide for important information on how to set up your VIU ID card online and other library services and updates. Your VIU ID card provides you with 24-7 access to the Nanaimo campus library. Your card also provides you with access to services such as loans and printing, various campus spaces and other perks.

Important Financial Aid message 💰

Preparing for the 2022-23 academic year at VIU? If you’re worried about how to make ends meet with your finances, let us help you. Student Aid BC provides financial assistance in the form of Canada Student Loans or a combination of Canada Student Loans, BC Student Loans and non-repayable grants for eligible students. When you apply and qualify for student financial assistance, you are automatically assessed for Canada Student Grants and Loans – plus any grants for which you qualify to receive are doubled up until July 2023. Need help with applying for your Student Aid BC loan? Register for one of our in-person or virtual workshops here.

Off-campus housing 🏠

Looking for off-campus rental housing or roommates? Need temporary accommodation? Questions or issues with contracts or fees? VIU Off-Campus Housing offers advice, education and advocacy. Visit Off-Campus Housing, email or make an appointment

Health & Dental update 🦷

This year the Students’ Union decreased the Health & Dental Benefits fee from $275 to $265 for students enrolled after September 1. Visit the VIUSU website foropt-out information.

Career Studio: coming in Fall 2022

The Centre for Experiential Learning is delighted to announce that the Career Studio will be opening its doors for all VIU students in Fall 2022. Need any career-related help? Come visit us in Building 255, Room 204 for help with resumes and cover letters, job interview tips or interview guidance. You can also look for us at RockVIU and other school start-up events! 

Accommodated exams at VIU

Are you registered with VIU’s Accessibility Services and want to know more about exam accommodations? Check out Assessment and Exam Services’ guides to accommodated exams. Contact us at if you need support with requesting accommodated exams, finding us, or using your assistive software.

Parking passes 🚗

Questions about parking? Monthly parking passes can be purchased online. Visit the FAQs page for more details.

VIU Student Health Clinic 🏥

The VIU Student Health Clinic is a primary health care clinic in Building 200 run by nurse practitioners, who provide comprehensive clinical care, including the diagnosis and management of disease/illness, prescribing medications, ordering/interpreting laboratory/diagnostic tests and initiating referrals to specialists. Appointments are required and patients must be registered. To qualify, you must be a current VIU student without a local primary care provider. Call 250-740-6620 for more information.

Conference funding 💰

Did you attend a conference over the summer? Intend to attend one this fall? Make sure you check out the conference funding available to all VIU students. Go forth and conquer!

Internship Planning course 

Are you interested in earning credits while gaining meaningful work experience? Then why not add Internship Planning (INTP 300) to your timetable. This course will prepare you for an internship which may kickstart your career.

Questions about buying textbooks and course supplies? 📖

Purchase textbooks in store at the Nanaimo and Cowichan Campus Stores or online. You can come into the store or go online to find out what textbooks are needed for your courses. You can also check out our instructional videos below:

McGill Bound for 2023-24?

Calling all student leaders! Are you considering attending one of McGill’s numerous grad or professional programs? Check out this scholarship opportunity: The McCall MacBain Scholarship. If you are interested, connect with VIU’s Office of Graduate Studies and Student Research. Deadline to apply is September 21 for the 2023-24 school year.

Why are there dots on the windows of Building 355? 🐦

Up to 1 billion birds die in North America each year and almost 50% of these deaths are window strikes. Recently, VIU’s Facilities department installed a network of dots on the windows on the west side of Building 355 to help birds see the windows and avoid deadly collisions. The issue was brought forward by a student and the Biology department supported Facilities in finding a solution.

New Building Number for G.R. Paine Horticultural Centre 

The G.R. Paine Horticultural Training Centre, which was Building 400, is now Building 500. This is part of the new campus wayfinding signage system that VIU is implementing. To improve campus wayfinding, several VIU buildings will be renumbered in summer 2023 to create a “400 level” on the Nanaimo campus. In case you still see the old building number “400” on your timetables, course materials, etc., which were likely created before the change, please note that it refers to the G.R. Paine Centre.

Student service closure 🚫

Student Affairs at the Nanaimo campus will be closed from 2 to 4 pm on Friday, August 26 for staff professional development. Services will be unavailable during this time. Impacted services include:

  • Accessibility Services
  • Assessment & Exam Services
  • Financial Aid & Awards
  • Conduct & Care
  • Counselling
  • Health & Wellness Centre
  • Centre for Experiential Learning
  • Office of Co-Curricular Engagement & Learning
  • Athletics & Recreation (excluding campVIU programs)

Regular services on the Nanaimo campus will resume on Monday, August 29. To speak to someone outside our regular business hours, please visit Emergency and After Hours Support.

Mindfulness practice 🧠

Join VIU Counsellors for 8 weeks of Mindfulness practice and learning. This workshop will provide you with foundational training in the practice of mindfulness and
its application in reducing stress and improving well-being. This group is free! Email to determine if this group is right for you.

Welcome incoming new students! 👋

Need help with course planning, web registration or have other questions that need answers? Advisors support students, answer all your questions and help you navigate university. We are available by phone, Zoom Drop-In, email or in-person at B200. Connect early and connect often with Advising. And don’t forget to familiarize yourself with VIU’s General Regulations to learn university vocabulary, policies, and more to make your transition to university easier.

Have your say on the Student Affairs foundation plan

Student Affairs is seeking feedback its draft 2022-27 foundation plan, which aligns with VIU's Strategic Plan, People, Place, Potential. Provide your thoughts to be entered into a draw for a $500 tuition credit. Learn more about how to participate.

Reminder: New location for some Student Affairs services 📌

Student Affairs would like to remind you of the new location for some student services. The following services are now located in Building 255

  • 2nd Floor – Check-in at Main Reception: Accessibility Services, Financial Aid & Awards, Conduct & Care, Administration.
  • 2nd Floor – Check-in at Career Studio: Career Services, Centre for Experiential Learning, Work-integrated Learning
  • 1st Floor – Check-in at Room 115: Assessment & Exam Services 


Did you know that as a VIU student you have access to exclusive discounts in your community and across the province? Download the Deals App, administered by the VIUSU and the BC Federation of Students, to learn more. Today’s featured businesses:

  • North Town Java: 10% off purchases.
  • Brechin Lanes: 20% off bowling and shoe rentals.

COVID-19 updates

VIU health and safety protocols

Do you have questions about COVID-19 as we head into the 2022-23 school year? VIU’s Communicable Disease Prevention Plan and the Post-Secondary Public Health Guidance can help! These documents outline the prevention measures that are in place at VIU and in BC to reduce the risk of exposure to communicable diseases, including COVID-19. Learn more on VIU’s COVID-19 updates website.

Campus events

Stay on top of what's happening at VIU. Find ways to get involved: 

Related Posts

Got an article idea for the blog? Email

Sign up for our blog