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VIU Student Pulse News: December 16, 2020

December 16, 2020

Holiday health, video message from our President, upcoming events and more

This is the last edition of the Pulse for 2020 and we wanted to take a moment to express our appreciation and gratitude for all of our students for the patience and resilience they have shown this semester as we all adapted to online delivery. We know it hasn’t been easy, but we continue to be inspired by the ways you have stayed connected and supported one another, from online games nights, to physically distanced walks (when those were permitted), to Netflix watch parties. We hope you all have a safe, healthy and restful break and do some things that bring you joy. To give you an example, please take a moment to watch this video of our President Dr. Deb Saucier sharing a favourite seasonal tradition and a holiday message. Thanks everyone and see you in the new year!

Need to know

12 days of holiday health

Because staying healthy through the holidays can be challenging, the Healthy U Crew, a group of VIU nursing students, shares 12 tips to stay healthy this holiday season.

Reminder: VIU supports & services closed over the break

From December 24 to January 2, VIU’s administrative services will be closed. The VIU Library at the Nanaimo campus will remain open 24/7 over the winter break. If you choose to visit the library, please be sure to familiarize yourself with our COVID policies, including our mask protocol and the requirement to do a health assessment through the VIU Safety App beforehand.

Info about the BC recovery benefit 

The recently announced BC Recovery Benefit is a one-time direct deposit payment for eligible families, single parents or individuals. Benefit eligibility is based on net income from your 2019 tax return. You must apply to receive the benefit. Applications open December 18, 2020.


Save the Date: RockVIU Student Orientation

The January RockVIU new student orientation will take place in two parts: there will be an opening ceremony on January 6 and then new students will be invited to attend beachfire chats with student mentors on January 22 and 23. Stay tuned for more details in the next edition of the Pulse on January 4!

Smooth Sailing: International student orientation

Attention new international students: This is your opportunity to connect with other international students from around the world and learn about VIU services. Events start on Tuesday, January 5, 2021, at 7:30 am PST. Topics to be covered include academic and immigration information, important dates, and health and safety. Registration is required. More info.

Check out our virtual Experience VIU event

Enjoying your VIU experience? Invite family and friends to explore your University ... virtually! On January 16, 20 & 21, there will be prizes, activities, live chat for any questions, and more! Register by following this link:

Join the 12 Days of Outdoor Play Challenge

The Shoots with Roots program at Milner Gardens & Woodland is challenging families, teachers and the rest of our community to 12 Days of Outdoor Play! Commit to spending at least 30 minutes playing, learning and exploring outdoors every day between December 21 and January 1. Follow the Shoots with Roots Facebook page for a daily activity prompt, track your progress, and share your adventures with #12daysofoutdoorplay.

VIU student’s video wins scholarship

Congrats to Samuelle Simard-Provencal, a fourth-year Ecology and Math student, whose video depicting how she spent her summer won her a $1,000 prize from the Movavi Scholarship Program. Simard-Provencal was supposed to spend her summer travelling Belize and working in Alberta, but due to COVID-19, she “stayed home on Vancouver Island and made the most of it.” The video she made about her summer adventures features stunning shots of birds and nature scenes.

Free Thriving in Action program

Are you looking for motivation, energy, well-being and academic success? Join our innovative new free program called Thriving in Action starting in January. Thriving in Action is an evidence-based program developed at Ryerson University that combines positive psychology and innovative learning strategies to support students in developing the skills and resiliency that they need to thrive. 

Supports & services

Pet therapy video 

VIU employees know that December and exam time can be stressful, and they wanted to do something to help students. Check out this video compilation of VIU employees’ pets. We hope it makes you smile or even laugh a little!

Reminder: Nanaimo campus library hours 

The Nanaimo campus library’s third and fourth floors are open 24/7, 365 days a year – including over the winter break. Access the building with your VIU ID card. For details on service levels over the winter break, visit the Library Hours homepage. Renovation of our third floor begins this week. Please excuse the noise as we work to make the library a more welcoming and inclusive space.

Have your say about bus service between Nanaimo and Duncan

Do you commute from the Cowichan to Nanaimo campuses, or vice-versa? BC Transit, the Cowichan Valley Regional District & the Regional District of Nanaimo are collecting feedback about a proposed bus service between Nanaimo and Duncan. Weigh in on the need for that service, start & final destinations, preferred times and proposed fares by taking the survey by December 18, 2020.

Get help planning your semester

Now that we know that remote learning will continue for most classes and programs in the spring semester, what are you learning this fall about your strengths and weakness in the online learning environment? What are your preferences, best supports and limitations? Educational Advisors are a great sounding board and can help you reflect on your experiences and make adjustments for spring. Attend daily Zoom drop in hours to meet with an Advisor one-on-one or email

VIU Student Technology Guide 

This is your one stop reference guide to university technology information for students. Learn how to create your computer account, update your email address, get your devices connected, and more. Reach out for support in the new Student Tech Help Chat!

Final thoughts for 2020 from the Research Office

#1: CREATE 2021 registration opens this Thursday, December 17! Do something cool this semester for a class? Want to gain some conference experience? There are LOTS of prizes! Registration page here. 
#2: Congrats to our Christmas Contest winners for their fabulously funny submissions! If you need a little laugh, check out this page and read them over! Check out Mel’s to learn your elf name.
#3: Thinking of attending a conference or workshop next semester? There’s lots of stuff happening virtually! VIU can cover the cost of registration – see this page for more infoDeadline is January 22.
#4: Wishing everyone a very merry and bright holidays!
–Kendra Stiwich and the rest of the Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity team

COVID-19 updates

Updated Mask Protocol 

VIU’s mask protocol has been updated to reflect changes announced last month by the BC Public Health Office. Face coverings are required in all indoor public spaces in all VIU buildings where people circulate freely including the VIU Library on the Nanaimo Campus. Read the full policy on the COVID-19 website.

Campus events

Stay on top of what's happening at VIU by checking our Campus Events website. 

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