Student pose with Santa

VIU Student Pulse News: December 6, 2023

December 6, 2023

Exam prep and festive fun 🎄

You're almost there! The last week of classes. Then exams, then winter break. Do you feel like you have a handle on things? If you could use some tips, alum Samantha Allan comes through with an exam season survival guide on the VIU Blog. Need a break? Join in some of the festive activities this week.

This will be the last issue of 2023. Your university wishes you all a relaxing and joy-filled holiday break.

Also in this issue:

  • Fun at VIU’s Light it up event
  • Help getting jobs
  • Holiday hours

Need to know

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign began on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and runs until December 10 – World Human Rights Day. The VIU Faculty Association’s Women’s and Gender Equity Committee has partnered with other VIU groups including the VIU Students’ Union to host a vigil on December 6 – the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women – at 12 pm in the Malaspina Theatre lobby. There will also be a film screening that night. Read more.

VIU Career Studio

Do you need help with your resumé or cover letter before the winter break? Visit the Career Studio in Building 255, Room 204 to get help. From December 8 to 22, the Career Studio will be operating at half-hours until the winter break. Log in to your VIU Experience Hub account to book an appointment with a member of the team.

Student Experience Survey

Give feedback on your program, faculty and VIU in general by filling out the Student Experience Survey. This is your opportunity to grade VIU and explain your goals so the university can work to meet your needs. Take a few minutes to fill it out and you get in the running to win:

  • A $100 gift certificates to the VIU Campus Store (five available)
  • A set of Apple Airpods (three available)
  • Grand prize: reMarkable 2 paper tablet

Check your email for a direct link to the survey, which runs until December 3.


Light it up

Fun at VIU invites all students to play festive activities in the main cafeteria tonight from 5 to 7 pm. There will be a gingerbread competition, hot chocolate, holiday jingles and tons of other festive activities.

Christmas decorating with International Education

December is here and we need to decorate Building 255! All international students are invited on Thursday, December 7 from 12 to 3 pm. 

Christmas jewelry sale

Looking for a unique gift for that hard-to-buy-for loved one? Former Arts and Humanities dean Dr. Marni Stanley and Kathryn Barnwell, both retired VIU professors, are hosting a sale of their hand-crafted jewelry, toys and aprons on Thursday, December 7 from 10 am to 2 pm in the Welcome Centre. Proceeds go to student scholarships.

VIU gym and weight December hours

Planning a workout in the VIU Gym’s weight room this month? The weight room will be open during the exam period but with adjusted hours.

  • December 11 to 15 and 18 to 20: open 12 to 1 pm and 4 to 8 pm
  • December 21: 8 am to 4 pm
  • December 22: 8 am to 12 pm

The gym is closed on weekends starting December 10 through to January 2. The gym is closed for the winter break from noon on December 22 until 8 am on January 2. The Athletics and Recreation programming schedule, including fitness classes, intramurals and gym hours for the Spring Semester, will be available the first week of January. Please note that road trips and hikes will be offered through Cultural Connections.

Road trips

Join the Cultural Connections Road Trips team on exciting adventures to awe-inspiring locations, available to all registered VIU students. Here’s what we have planned for January:

  • January 6: Victoria Day Trip
  • January 13: Malahat Skywalk
  • January 20: Tofino Day Trip
  • January 27: Snowshoeing trip

VIU winter art sale 

Warm up from the bitter cold at The View Gallery on December 14 from 10 am to 5 pm and browse amazing student-made artwork available for purchase.

Christmas fun at tiwšɛmawtxw campus

It’s time to get in the holiday spirit! All students are invited for hot chocolate and ornament making on Thursday, December 7 from noon to 2 pm in room 148.

Coats for Christmas 2023

Youth 20/20 Can is excited to announce the fifth annual Coats for Christmas Nanaimo donation drive. The group is collecting new and gently used coats, hats, gloves and socks for women, men and teenagers experiencing homelessness and children in need. Come to Maffeo Sutton Park on Friday, December 8 from 3 to 7 pm and Saturday, December 9, from 11 am to 3 pm.

Are you graduating soon? 

Lifetouch Photography will be on the Nanaimo campus December 11 to 15 to take graduation photos for interested graduates. Appointments must be booked in advance through Appointment-Plus. Additional graduation photography sessions will be held in March 2024 for spring and summer graduates.

Supports & services

VIU Employer Directory

The Centre for Experiential Learning and Career Studio have launched an Employer Directory to make it easier for VIU students in all programs to find the leading employers in their industry, both locally and across Canada. Visit this resource, which is added to regularly, to find some of the best local employers to work for. Visit the Employer Directory.

Advice from advising

The advising team wishes all students the very best during your final exams and a restful holiday season. Need to speak to an educational advisor? We are available by phone (250-740-6410), email (, Zoom or in-person until noon on December 22. 

Bursary distributions

Selections from the October bursary deadline are now in the final stages. Applicants who have been selected for a bursary will be notified via email in early January. Full bursary details and payment information will be provided in the email, so please read it carefully. Only those receiving a bursary will be notified. If you have not already done so, be sure to update and/or complete your online profile for the next deadline of March 30 for the scholarships and awards.

Career Chronicles Podcast

VIU’s Career Studio recently launched a podcast series! Jonah Ferguson, Coordinator of Employer and Student Engagement, interviews professionals from a range of industries about their career journey and what working in their industry is like. Find the podcast on Spotify! 

VIU Students’ Union holiday schedule

  • Students’ Union Office: closes December 22, reopening January 3 and 4 from 10 am to 3 pm. Regular hours resume January 8.
  • Students’ Union Pub: closes December 15, reopening on January 8.

External Awards and Funding  

Looking for additional support to help with the cost of your studies? Check out the External Awards and Funding Page. This page includes more than $21.2 million in available external financial award opportunities. 

Subletting and assigning your rented accommodation  

Are you moving out of your rental housing at the end of this semester? Do you have a fixed-term agreement? You may be able to let your place out to another student or simply have them take over your lease. For more information about rights and responsibilities, contact Off-Campus Housing. You can also read the subletting and assigning blog post.  

December Food Services hours

When classes end for the semester, Food Services is reducing its hours accordingly:

  • The main cafeteria will be closed from December 11 until campus is closed for winter break on December 23 until campus reopens on January 2.
  • There will be no cafeteria service from the Culinary Arts and Professional Baking programs during this time.
  • The lower cafeteria will operate from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm Monday to Friday. It will close on December 22 at noon, reopening January 2. 
  • Starbucks hours are 9:30 am to 2:30 pm Monday to Friday from December 11 to 15 and it will be closed between December 18 and January 3.

Have a cyber safe holiday 🌟

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for cyber attackers.  Make sure you and your devices have a cyber safe holiday:
⛄ Make good memories by video chatting securely with your family and friends. 
🎁 Some of today’s best presents don’t even come with wrapping paper. Learn how to give and receive digital gifts safely!
🎄 Getting a new Smart Device this holiday season? Take charge of the settings!

Preventing slips and falls this winter

As temperatures get colder, VIU’s Health and Safety Services team has some tips to keep you on your feet. Snow and ice can present a greater risk of slipping and falling. Here are some best practices:

  • Wear appropriate winter footwear or shoes with traction. 
  • Consider wearing ice cleats.
  • Walk in designated areas. Avoid using shortcuts and self-made paths as these may be very icy and slippery.
  • Take small steps to keep your centre of balance under you. 
  • Walk slowly and never run on icy ground.
  • Keep both hands free for balance, rather than in your pockets.
  • If available, use handrails from start to finish. 
  • Keep your eyes on where you are going. 
  • Test potentially slick areas by tapping your foot on them. 
  • Step – don’t jump – from vehicles and equipment.

Mark your calendars

Severe weather closure procedures

From time to time, weather can disrupt campus operations. Are you familiar with VIU’s severe weather notifications procedures? Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the steps to take so you know before you go. VIU will be closed from December 23, 2023, to January 1, 2024 (reopening on January 2). During this time, severe weather notifications will not be sent out as campuses and locations are closed.

A seasonal poem from the library staff

In the warm holiday style of My Favourite Things from The Sound of Music

Raindrops on windows and twinkle lights glowing, 

Friendly hellos from employees to students coming and going, 

Therapy dogs visiting, the joy that they bring, 

These are a few of our favourite things! 


Silent study corners and groupwork in clusters, 

Deadlines after deadlines that make life a rollercoaster,

Long Nights Against Procrastination, so much food and delight, 

Views from the library, a breathtaking sight!


When the stress bites, when the deadlines sting, 

When you're feeling down, 

Simply remember these favourite library things

And then you will feel amazing!


Reach out to us on our Instagram or Facebook if you’d like to share your favourite thing! A reminder that the Nanaimo campus library building remains open with 24-7 with your VIU ID during winter break, and full services resume on January 2. Have a wonderful break!

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