Student sings and plays guitar with Global Citizens Week banners behind him

VIU Student Pulse: February 8, 2023

February 8, 2023

Don't miss these events & activities 🌍

Have you noticed the extra activity around campus this week? It’s Global Citizens Week, and there’s lots more opportunities for you to get involved and learn more about issues ranging from climate change, human rights and equity to international security, peace and trade, and global health. View the schedule.

Need to know

Candy grams 🍭

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner 🥰 Are you interested in getting someone special a candy gram delivered to their classroom? Until February 10, the Fun@VIU crew will be in the cafeteria from 10 am to 2:30 pm giving out candy grams for free. They will be hand delivering your candy grams to your special people on Valentine’s Day! Check out this Instagram post for full details.

Student grants info 💰

Could you use funds to support your educational journey? Did you know that grants = free money and they have been increased until July 2023? There is still time to apply for this term, but time is running out. Learn more on theGovernment of Canada grants and loans homepage or email

Mind your midterms 📖

Reading break is around the corner, and so are midterms. Engage with our panel of senior students in a Q&A session about making the most of your break and coming back feeling refreshed and set for success! The session is from 4 to 5 pm on Thursday, February 16, in Building 210, Room 245. Sign up through our Eventbrite.

Black History Month

Black History Month at VIU

Each year, Canadians mark Black History Month in February to recognize the contributions, accomplishments and ongoing inequities of Black and African descent Canadians and people living in Canada. There are a variety of events and activities being organized to celebrate this important month at VIU. Get more information in the #VIUBlog.


VIU Mariners Volleyball 🏐

There is plenty of volleyball excitement happening this month, starting with an Island rivalry matchup with Camosun College at the VIU Gym on Saturday, February 11 at 1 pm. The Mariners finish the regular season with home games against the Columbia Bible College Bearcats on February 17 and 18 before travelling to Cranbrook for the PACWEST Provincial Championships on February 24 and 25. Tune in and watch the provincial championship live online.

Join the Blue Crew for the Women’s Volleyball National Championship 🏐

The VIU Students’ Union has your key to VIP access at the 2023 CCAA Women’s Volleyball National Championship at VIU, March 8 to 11. The Blue Crew Fan Zone Package is exclusively for VIU students and includes a tournament pass, Mariners branded swag, food vouchers, exclusive seating and more! Early bird pricing on now until February 28. Purchase your Blue Crew Fan Zone tickets online.

Connect at Culture Couch on Tuesdays 

During the Culture Couch series, student volunteers share aspects of their culture with their peers each week and activities include sampling traditional foods, sharing music and good conversation. Sessions take place Tuesdays from 5 to 6 pm in Building 255, first floor learning commons. Upcoming schedule:

  • February 7: Countries with conflict (student stories from Iran, Palestine, Ukraine and Congo)
  • February 14: Welcome to Germany
  • February 28: British Games Night

Spring Semester Consent Week 

From February 13 to 17, VIUSU will be hosting their second ever Consent Week, a series of events centered around the theme of consent. With a focus on promoting healthy relationships, self-defense and sexual education, the week will include workshops, a consent fair, and a fabulous drag show in the pub. Sign up for workshops and get more info.

SuperBowl Sunday at the VIUSU Pub 🏈

Come join the fun at the Students’ Union Pub for the Super Bowl Party on February 12! Doors open at 1 pm and kick-off is at 3:30 pm. Enjoy 65 cent wings, $10 nachos, $3 bottles of Lucky and $13 pitchers of beer. Plus, free Sunday parking!

ImpAct Cimate Challenge  🌏

Colleges and Institutes Canada is asking everyone on every campus across Canada to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They are looking for creative solutions and offering big incentives. Share your ideas until May 31 and you could receive money to turn ideas into reality. Students and employees are welcome to participate.  

VIU Outdoor Recreation Adventures 🥾🌲

Get out and explore with a VIU Outdoor Recreation guided adventure! Learn snowshoeing at Mount. Washington (February 11), hike the Cowichan River (February 12) or Juan de Fuca Trail (February 19) or try bouldering (short-wall climbing) at Ravenwood Boulders (February 14). All transportation provided. Limited spots available, sign up today!

Call for models and creative works: Transgender Day of Visibility 🙋‍♀️

Transgender Day of Visibility is on March 31 and the Positive Space Alliance is organizing an event to mark this important day at VIU’s Nanaimo campus. The group is looking for volunteer participants for the fashion show and creative showcase parts of the event:

  • We are looking for 2SLGBTQ+ models interested in taking part in the fashion show.
  • We are looking for students, employees and the VIU community to share an original work (story, poem, photo, visual art, sculpture) along with a personal anecdote during the creative showcase.

Please email for further information about these two opportunities.

Research opportunity for Black students 

Do you identify as a Black undergrad student? Interested in a full-time, paid research job this summer in a health-related topic? Connect with ASAP to get more info. Need to be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Call for CREATE submissions 

Are you engaged in a cool project? Learning something neat in class? Want to gain some super valuable communications skills? Why not share your knowledge at CREATE – VIU’s largest student knowledge-sharing event. Posters, presentations, video, photography. Lots of options. Early bird registration deadline is March 6.

Read the Nav 💻📱

Wanting to learn more about VIU and the community from a student perspective? Visit The Navigator Student Press, VIU’s entirely student-run online news magazine. Read, watch and listen to the stories that matter to you as students!

Do research in Mexico 

Interested in doing a research internship in Mexico? Come to an online info session on Thursday, February 9, 9 to 10 am. Zoom Registration Link. Lots of VIU support and more than 50 internships available!

The VIU Amazing Race 🥳

The VIU Amazing Race is returning for its sixth year, and that’s no April Fool’s joke! On Saturday, April 1, teams of five will race around Nanaimo, solving tasks and puzzles to be the first team to finish the race. Transportation to race areas will be provided and fun is guaranteed. Sign up your team.

Don’t judge a book by its cover! 📖

Happening in the Nanaimo campus library: the week of February 13, keep an eye out for “Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” highlighting fun, funny, entertaining and weird reads already in our library collections. Come pick up a book that interests you! The catch? It will be wrapped in brown paper, with only a bio to help you decide.

Language in the Library 

Join us for Language in the Library, an Indigenous initiative at the VIU Nanaimo campus library! Learn how to speak introductory Hul’q’umi’num’ with authentic language speakers and enter a community of other passionate learners every Tuesday from 12:30 to 1:30 pm in the Madrona Room. Register ahead!Refreshments provided.

Unarchived screening 🎥

This feature-length documentary, Unarchived, is coming to VIU’s Nanaimo and Cowichan campuses. The filmmakers visited community archives across BC, seeking out local knowledge keepers who are hand-fashioning a more inclusive history. Through a collage of personal interviews, archival footage and deeply rooted memories, the past, present and future come together, fighting for a space where everyone is seen and everyone belongs. History is what we all make of it. Two screenings available:

  • Nanaimo campus: Tuesday, February 14, 6:30 to 9 pm, Building 355, Room 203. Learn more.
  • Cowichan campus: Wednesday, February 15, 1 to 3:30 pm in Room 140.Learn more.

Supports and services 

New VIUSU Grant Program 💰

VIUSU is proud to announce the launch of its new Student Grants Program, designed to support student-led initiatives on campus. The program offers financial support for conference attendance, club events and educational initiatives through three distinct streams of funding. Apply for funding.

Need help with your next academic steps? ✏️

First semester didn’t go as well as planned? Advisors make great sounding boards. We can help you get back on track and ensure you get the learning support you need. Connect with an advisor anytime.

Summer Session – start planning today ☀️

Did you know you can earn university credits in as little as seven weeks? With summer session courses you can lighten your load in the fall or catch up on courses you missed. The course timetable for Summer Sessions is available now and registration begins in the first week of March. Watch your inbox for your invitation to register.

Have you paid your VIUSU health and dental plan fees? 🦷

Please check your student record! The opt out deadline for the health and dental plan has passed for the January enrolment. Email Cheryl at if you have any questions or concerns.

Support for our students from Turkiye and Syria

Our thoughts and deepest condolences to the people of Turkiye and Syria and to our students and employees with ties to Turkiye and Syria following a devastating earthquake this morning that has taken thousands of lives and caused significant destruction. Counselling supports are available for those affected by calling 250.740.6416 or going online. Please reach out if you need to, you are not alone.

Work for the largest employer in the country

Every year, the federal government hires thousands of students through the Federal Student Work Experience Program. Working for the federal government is much more than a simple student job: it means being part of a diverse, national community of students; participating in mentoring and networking activities; gaining valuable work experience that could lead to a career which will have a positive impact on the lives of Canadians. Learn more.

Career newsletter for students

Interested in learning more about upcoming career fairs at VIU, as well as career advice? VIU’s Centre for Experiential Learning and the Career Studio are launching a newsletter to share relevant resources with students. Sign up here

Become a volunteer tutor! 🙋‍♀️

Boost your resumé, give back and reinforce your own learning – and do it on your own schedule. Tutor a fellow VIU student for an hour a week in the area you choose. To learn more, visit the Volunteer Tutor Program homepage or email

VIU Off-Campus Housing support 🏠

International numbers are rising to pre-pandemic levels. Coupled with Nanaimo’s record growth, we continue to feel the challenges of securing decent rental housing. Need info or support? Visit Off-Campus Housing, email Michael at or book a meeting. 

Peer helpers needed 

Apply to be a Peer Helper with Cultural Connections. Peer Helpers gain valuable work experience, meet a lot of awesome friends, and support fun and meaningful intercultural events at VIU. Applications extended to February 24. Email for more info or apply online.

Grant for studying abroad 🌏

Students accepted into an Education Abroad program should apply for a Global Skills Opportunity Student Travel Grant by February 25. These $5,000 and $10,000 awards are designed to increase participation in study/work abroad experiences (particularly to non-traditional destinations) and reduce barriers for underrepresented groups including Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, Métis) students, students with disabilities and students with financial need.

Call for blood donors 🩸

VIU has pledged 75 donations in 2023 through the Canadian Blood Services Partners for Life program! Help us reach our goal by pre-booking your blood donation for March, where donor centres are located: 

To count towards VIU’s goal, be sure to register with the following details: Partner ID: VIUV011640 (four letters and six numbers)    

Cyber security advice on Valentine’s Day ❤️

This Valentine’s Day, give yourself the gift of cyber security
♫ 'Cause the phishers gonna phish, phish, phish, phish, phish
And the scammers gonna scam, scam, scam, scam, scam
I’m just gonna lock, lock, lock, lock, lock
Lock it down
Lock it down 

Trail closures near VIU 🚫

The trails between Black Diamond Drive and Addison Road/Third Street and VIU (accessed from behind student residences coming from the University) will be closed to cycling and pedestrian traffic until the end of April to allow crews to complete preparation work. Please find an alternative route if you use these trails to access VIU as part of your daily commute. There will also be equipment entering and exiting a work site off Third Street, there may be minor delays for commuters.

New building numbers: Parksville, Milner Gardens and Deep Bay

The Parksville-Qualicum Centre, Milner Gardens and Deep Bay Marine Field Station were renumbered to 500-series buildings:

  • Parksville: now Building 520 (previously 620)
  • Milner Gardens: now Building 570 (previously 470)
  • Deep Bay: now Buildings 580 (previously 480)

To improve campus wayfinding, several VIU buildings will be renumbered in summer 2023 to create a “400 level” on the Nanaimo Campus. Check out the project website for more details, including project background and a full list of building number changes.

Mark your calendars

She Kills Monsters

A dark comedy into the world of D&D role-playing and epic ’90s music, She Kills Monsters tells the story of Agnes Evans as she comes to terms with the death of her teenage sister, Tilly. When she finds Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, she embarks on an adventure in this high-octane dramatic comedy laden with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres and ’90s pop culture. Acclaimed playwright Qui Nguyen offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all. Running in the Malaspina Theatre at VIU from March 2 to 11. Buy tickets on Eventbrite.

Colloquium Series

The Arts and Humanities Spring Colloquium Series kicks off on February 10 with On Bach’s Chaconne for Solo Violin presented by James Mark, a VIU Music Professor. On March 10, Dr. Marni Stanley, VIU Dean of Arts and Humanities, presents Holding Space for Queerness in the Classroom. Lectures are from 10 to 11:30 am, are free to attend and held in the Malaspina Theatre (Building 310). Learn more about the Colloquium Series.

Science and Technology Community Lecture Series 

This series features seven presentations by VIU faculty. It runs Wednesdays, 5:45 to 7 pm, from February 8 to March 29 and doors open at 5:30 pm. There is a short student presentation before the featured speaker. Lectures are free to attend and are in Building 355, Room 203, and pizza is provided. The series kicks off on February 8 with Parasites, ecology and genetics of the endangered Vancouver Island marmot. Learn more about the community lectures.

Discovery Night at VIU

Know someone who’s thinking about going to university? Discovery Night on February 22 has options for high school students, parents and mature students. With fun activities, engaging conversation and the information that matters, this is an event they won’t want to miss.

  • High School Student Sessions: 6 to 9 pm
  • Parents Sessions: 6 to 9 pm
  • Mature Student Pub Night: 8 to 9 pm

Thinking about grad school? At the Discovery Night Mature Student Pub Night at 8 pm you can learn about VIU grad studies. 

Celebration of Learning

Join the ‘su’luqw’a’ Community Cousins as they share their learning journeys at the Celebration of Learning on Friday, February 17 from 10 am to 2 pm at Shq’apthut.


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. Featured deal:

  • White Sails Brewing: 10% off in-house beer or coffee purchase.

Campus events

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

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