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VIU Student Pulse: January 26, 2022

January 26, 2022

What's happening on campus 📆

Mental health is important year-round, but January can often feel like a particularly difficult time. It’s important to reach out for help when you need it, as Ashley, a VIU Student Wellness Promoter, says in this video. Did you know that VIU’s Thrive team hosts events and activities year-round to help you be well? 

  • Follow @ThriveVIU on social to stay up to date with events and activities, both virtual and in-person, including Thriving in Action, a series of 30-minute, drop-in sessions that give you some well-being and learning strategies that help you feel better and do better.
  • Visit the new Wellness Lounge next to the library commons, which has hot chocolate, colouring books, fidget toys and much more. Learn more about the Wellness Peers program.
  • Check out the free, eight-week mindfulness practice group with VIU counsellors starting on February 10. Email Art.Phipps@viu.ca to get involved.

This issue, our featured student is Erika Berg, a VIU Digital Media Studies student. Erika was thrust into the spotlight last summer as one of several information officers working as provincial spokespersons for the BC Wildfire Service. She shares her experiences on the #VIUBlog.

Need to know

Thrive booth on Bell Let’s Talk Day 👥

Wednesday, January 26 is Bell Let’s Talk Day, a national day to create awareness and conversation around mental health. Pop by the Thrive booth in the quad from 11 am to 1 pm today to pick up a Bell toque, resources and share a message of support in-person! You can also participate by sharing a message in the virtual Bell Let’s Talk photo booth.

Make some noise for mental health 🗣

The VIU Mariners’ Make Some Noise for Mental Health game is happening on Friday, January 28. The women’s volleyball team plays at 6 pm and the men’s volleyball team plays at 8 pm. Look for some themed fan engagement, contests and half-time events.

Bob Marley WinterFest 🎼

Bob Marley would have been celebrating his 77th birthday this year and what better way to celebrate him than a free reggae show on campus? Join VIUSU and Intercultural Connections outside in the Royal Bank Plaza on February 10. Aside from live performances, there will also be free cake, hot chocolate, coffee, a photo booth and good vibes.


VIU celebrates Global Citizens Week: February 7-11, 2022 🌏

Through visiting speakers, a film festival, reggae symposium and much more, Global Citizens Week celebrates the many changemakers at VIU and beyond who are taking action on issues of global development at home and abroad. This year’s theme is exploring issues of justice. From climate change, human rights and equity to international trade, peace and security, global health, music and the arts, join us as we broaden our collective horizons and learn from each other. 

Recreation programming ⛹️‍♀️

Registration for recreational activities opened on January 19. Lots of programs are filling up, but there may still be room in some. Learn how to register.

Exchange: where your learning takes flight ✈️

Apply by February 6 for the opportunity to depart on a Fall 2022/Spring 2023 international adventure. Pay regular VIU student tuition to study in English at one of our partner universities around the world for one or two semesters and earn transfer credit towards your degree. Funding opportunities may be available. For more info, check out this student experience video.

Convocation 2022 🎓

We are excited to announce that VIU is moving forward with plans to return to in-person Convocation ceremonies in June 2022, and for the first time in more than 20 years, we will be bringing these celebrations back to campus! Convocation ceremonies will take place in the Nanaimo campus gymnasium on June 22, 23 and 24. VIU will continue to follow all advice from our Provincial Health Office to ensure our celebrations are safe for all graduates and their supporters. Planning is well underway, and further details will be posted on the Convocation website as they are available. 

Indigenous perspectives on international travel ✈️

Indigenous students are invited to join the Education Abroad team and Tsatassaya White, a Snuneymuxw community member with 23 years’ experience at a major airline, as we explore Indigenous perspectives on international student travel. Insights gathered from this interactive workshop will influence the development of inclusive supports and services for Indigenous Students pursuing study abroad experiences with VIU. The event takes place on February 7 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm at Shq’apthut, followed by feasting. Register at the door.

Become a Big Brother or Big Sister 👬

After a long, COVID-related hiatus, the In-School Mentoring program is back in School Districts 68 and 69. The program pairs mentors with a mentee to meet for an hour each week on school grounds. Apply to become a Big Brother or Big Sister.

Supports and services

It’s time for a mental health check-up! 🩺

Mental and emotional health are just as important as physical health, so join the VIU counsellors for a free, drop-in, virtual mental health screening. The process only takes about 40 minutes, and the screening is open to all VIU students. Drop in to the Zoom link on the Facebook event at any time between 9:45 am and 2 pm on Thursday, January 27 and counsellors will walk you through the rest.

Build the perfect resume and cover letter 🗂

Learn how to take your resume and cover letter to the next level with the Centre for Experiential Learning’s online workshop. This workshop is free for students and is entirely self-paced, which means you can start it at any time! To register, email CEL@viu.ca.

Looking for work? 🧰

Did you know that VIU has its very own online job-posting board? CareerVIU is available to all VIU students and alumni. With more than 3,000 employers registered, a variety of new opportunities are posted daily. Registering for CareerVIU is quick and easy – all you need is your Student Record System username and password! Learn more about CareerVIU by visiting StudentEmployment.viu.ca.

Help us improve our website

We are inviting you to help us re-organize the content on our website! We are looking for students to provide insights into how they search for information on the website, and what they search for most frequently. All of the information collected is confidential and individuals are not identified in any reports resulting from this interaction. Help us out!

Changeways Group for Depression

Changeways is a free 8-week therapy group starting in February that uses a cognitive behavioural approach to address how our feelings, thoughts and actions are linked. Learn how changes in your thoughts and actions can improve feelings of control and self-worth. Sessions will be either on Zoom or at Cowichan campus. If you are interested in joining this group, please call 250.746.3509 to set up a 20-30-minute confidential intake with Albert Seinen.

24-7 access to the library 💳

Did you know that you can access the VIU Library on Nanaimo campus any day at any time with your VIU ID card? You have 24-7 access to computer stations, printers, library collections and more! Have questions about library services? Contact us!

Housing workshop: tenancy rights 🏡

Off-Campus Housing Workshop 3: During a Tenancy: Privacy and Security Rights and Ending a Tenancy Early. Have you found somewhere to live but are having problems? Common issues with private rentals include deposits, security and privacy from a landlord. You may also be thinking about moving out before your contract ends. Your landlord might even be asking you to leave. If you are having any issues with your ongoing tenancy, please join our free workshop and Q&A session on Wednesday, February 9 at 3 pm via Zoom. Learn more about renting privately. You can also contact IE.Housing@viu.ca at any time.

Locker rentals 🔓

Did you know lockers are available for rent in many buildings on campus? Visit Campus Store locker rental for more info.

VIUSU referendum 📜

The VIU Students’ Union is holding a vote on four questions about the health and dental benefits plan (expanding access to Cowichan, Powell River, online and part-time students), funding for a full-time Students’ Advocate and funding for student ideas and projects. Two more questions will be in the referendum that aim to align positions on the VIUSU Board of Directors with the structures that exist at VIU. Students will vote on these issues at the same time as they vote in the VIUSU elections. Voting takes place March 1, 2 and 3 and students will receive an email with a link to vote. Learn more about the VIUSU referendum.

Thinking about applying to another program?

Calling all students in Exploratory Studies and unclassified programs! Now is the time to firm up your educational plans and apply to other programs (BA, BSc, BBA and our many limited entry programs). Advisors can help you with this transition.

Anti-Racism Response Training

The Anti-Racism Response Training Program, developed by Dr. Ishu Ishiyama, uses a witness-centered approach to disrupting racism. This training is designed to encourage participants to shift from being frozen or silent bystanders to becoming active witnesses. The workshop takes place over the four Wednesdays in February, from 2:30 to 4:30 pm.

SafeTalk Suicide Prevention Training

Want to know more about how to help people who are thinking about suicide? In this free half-day training on February 4 you will learn to recognize when someone is thinking about suicide and how to connect them to an intervention provider. Registration required

Canada Revenue Agency webinars 💰

Are you interested in improving your financial literacy skills, learning about tax benefits available to students or becoming more scam aware? Canada Revenue Agency offers a range of webinars for both domestic and international students. View the list and register.

Compassionate communication workshop 🗣👥

Youth 20/20 Can is hosting a Compassionate Communication and Boundary Building workshop on February 3 at 7 pm on Zoom. The workshop will be presented by Kathy Smith and is based on the works of Dr. Marshall Rosenberg and Dr. George Thompson. The workshop is free and open to 15-29-year-olds. To sign up email youth2020cannanaimo@gmail.com for the Zoom link.

Mark your calendars

Speaker Addresses Climate Change as a Human Rights Issue

Sheila Watt-Cloutier Silla, one of the most influential Indigenous environmental, cultural and human rights advocates in the world, is VIU’s sixth keynote speaker in the Engaged Citizens Speaker Series. On Tuesday, February 8 at 6:30 pm, she will expand upon her own experiences and personal stories to put a cultural face and human voice on climate change and talk about meaningful actions. This free, virtual talk is titled: “Re-imagining a New Way Forward with Intention” and her presentation will be followed by a live Q&A session. This edition of the Engaged Citizens Speaker Series is part of VIU’s annual celebration of Global Citizens Week. Register via Zoom webinar.

Figuratively Speaking

The View Gallery is excited to present Figuratively Speaking: A Journey Through Movement. The exhibit runs until February 12 with a virtual opening reception via Zoom on Saturday, January 29 from 1:30 - 3 pm. For gallery hours and Zoom details visit the View Gallery’s website.

Science and Tech Lecture Series

Are you interested in climate change research? Check out the spring 2022 VIU Science and Technology Community Lecture Series. Lectures run on Wednesdays, 7-8 pm, until April 6. There is no lecture during Reading Week. Lectures offered via Zoom and in-person. Learn more.

Scenes from Nanaimo Indian Hospital

Scenes from Nanaimo Indian Hospital, written by VIU Indigenous/Xwulmuxw Studies Professor Laura Cranmer is based on the playwright’s stay in the hospital as a young girl. The play is in English, hul̓q̓umín̓um̓, Nuu-Chah-Nulth and Kwak’wala languages. A workshop presentation, with subtitles, is being presented on February 14, 7:30 pm, at Western Edge Theatre as part of the New Waves Festival. Tickets $15 available at Western Edge’s website.


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:

  • Choice hotels: Enjoy preferred rates at more than 330 Choice properties across Canada, and more than 7,000 worldwide.
  • Nanaimo Squash Club: 50% off court bookings plus special membership rates.

COVID updates

We’ve summarized our COVID protocols for on-campus activities below. Here are some simple steps you can take on campus to help us all stay healthy:

  • If you’re sick, stay home: If you’re experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, including mild symptoms, stay home. You can use the BC Thrive App to assess your symptoms to see if you need a COVID test.
  • Wash your hands. Wash hands regularly with soap and water. It’s the single most effective way to reduce infection spread.
  • Clean surfaces frequently. Clean personal and community shared surfaces to reduce the risk of spreading viruses.
  • Cover your sneeze and cough. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve and turn your head away from others when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wear a mask. Non-medical masks must be worn in all indoor spaces. Read our mask protocol FAQs for more details.
  • Follow the direction of public health, including the public health orders, contact tracing and isolation requirements. Here’s what to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

For more information, check out VIU’s Communicable Diseases Plan.

Campus events

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