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VIU Student Pulse News: February 7

February 7, 2024

Black History Month and Valentine's Day events ❤️

It’s February, which means there’s a lot happening on campus, from Black History Month to Valentine’s Day events and Mariners games.
In this issue:

  • Graduating this year? Don’t forget to sign up for convocation by February 29!
  • Mariners men’s and women’s volleyball teams final home games
  • Upcoming scholarship opportunities

Pictured: Chemistry Professor Dr. Kyle Duncan in the lab with Kiera Nguyen and Nicholas Woytowich.

Need to know

Sign up for convocation 🎓

Are you graduating in 2024 and want to attend convocation, the ceremony that celebrates graduating students? Convocation is June 12 to 14 and the deadline to sign up is February 29. Find Convocation information.

Black History Month

VIU proudly recognizes and celebrates Black History Month. This month serves as a reminder of the rich and diverse contributions of Black individuals in our community, our nation and across the globe. Read President Saucier’s message. Ways to mark the month at VIU include:

  • Stop by the library to check out the Black History Month book display
  • Check out an exhibit by Visual Art student Enigye “Happy” Amarkah in the Malaspina Theatre
  • Watch an episode of the docuseries For the Culture with Amanda Parris on Wednesday, February 14 from 1 to 2 pm in the Malaspina Theatre. 
  • Creative Writing and Journalism Professor Dr. Sonnet L’Abbé is looking for participants for a lunchtime open mic on February 14 celebrating the power of poetry to articulate joy, rage, solidarity, struggle and hope for the future. To sign up to read or perform, please email Read your own work or share a poem you love by a Black author. 

Changes to the VIU Safety App 📱

We received feedback on the VIU Safety App, so we made a few changes. Most notably, you can now view a “Push Notification History” button on the app’s main screen. If you missed an alert or can’t remember what it said this new button stores all alerts for you to check after they’re sent. Follow these instructions to update the app today

Lunar New Year 🐉

We want to wish all our community members health, wealth and good fortune for the upcoming Lunar New Year, which takes place on Saturday, February 10 and ushers in the Year of Dragon. Starting on Thursday February 8, red envelopes will be available at the Welcome Centre and the cashiers in the main cafeteria while supplies last.

No More Stolen Sisters March: February 14

The MMIWG2S March is a solemn occasion to honour and remember those Indigenous individuals who have gone missing or have been tragically taken from us. This event is an opportunity for our community to come together, raise awareness and advocate for justice and support for the affected families. The March takes place on February 14, 4 to 6 pm. It starts in Maffeo Sutton Park and ends in the square outside the downtown Nanaimo library branch. This event is organized by VIUSU’s Indigenous Students Representative Leah Vaisanen with Sherry Mattice, Indigenous Education Navigator. Questions? Email


February dodgeball tournament and paintball adventure 👕

Get your pulse racing and have a ton of fun with friends during Athletics & Recreation’s dodgeball and paintball events this month. Paintball is an all-day multi-competition event at the Nanaimo River this Sunday, February 11. Gear and transportation are provided in your registration fee ($65 plus tax). Or, put a co-ed team of six together and register for the Valentine’s Day Dodgeball Tournament on February 14. Don’t forget to wear your craziest costumes!

Candy Grams ❤️💛

Give someone special to you a candy gram, delivered to them on Valentine's Day! The Fun@VIU team will be in the main cafeteria on February 7, 9 and 12 from 11 am to 3 pm to order one. More details

VIU Mariners Volleyball 🏐

Only two home weekends remain to cheer on the varsity volleyball teams in the 2023-24 season. February 9 and 10 versus Capilano University and February 16 and 17 versus Columbia Bible College. Join Mariners fans in the gym and help cheer VIU to victories! Friday evening games start at 6 and 8 pm and Saturday afternoon games start at 1 and 3 pm. No admission charge for VIU students.

Walking program 🚶‍♀️

Join Educational Advisor Dale Hunt on an eight-week walking program. All levels are welcome and prizes are available. Runs on Wednesdays started January 31. Meet in Colliery Dam Park, lower parking lot. Questions? Email

Healthy Relationships Bingo

Join Thrive on February 8 at 6 pm at the VIU Residences’ Cedar Centre for a chance to win awesome prizes and look at healthy relationships and resources. All VIU students are welcome! You’ll have fun while contributing to creating a safe and inclusive environment on campus. Learn more. 

Talk to Me at the Culture Couch 🛋️

Come join a special edition of the Talk to Me program on Tuesday, February 13 at 5 pm in the learning commons of Building 255. Presented in collaboration with International Education’s Culture Couch series. Free food, social connections and fun activities.

Hotdog day 🌭

Join Services for Aboriginal Students for hotdog day on February 8 from 11:30 am to 1 pm – or until we run out! Where: Building 355, Room 211.

Sweetheart feast 🍰

Join Services for Aboriginal Students for lunch and a cake walk on February 14. Want to bring a cake? Stop by Building 180, Room 326 to grab a cake mix and icing. The event runs from 12 to 1:30 pm in Building 355, Room 211.

Family movie night: Ice Age: Continental Drift 🍿

Join Services for Aboriginal Students for a family movie night on February 7, 5:30 to 7:30 pm in Building 200, Room 203. The movie is Ice Age: Continental Drift and pizza will be served. Sponsored by the VIU Students’ Union.

Road trips ⛷️

Join the Cultural Connections Road Trips team on exciting adventures to awe-inspiring locations. Every semester, we prepare a schedule of road trips and hiking activities available to all registered VIU students. Sign up every Tuesday and Thursday between 12 and 1:30 pm in Building 255. Upcoming events include:

  • February 10: Mount Washington Ski Trip
  • February 16: Rockies 4-day explorer
  • February 23: Ice skating

Participate in National SDG Week 🇺🇳

Do you have an event aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that you want to share with the VIU community? SDG Week Canada is March 4 to 8. VIU is joining the national collaboration, which features workshops, panels and other interactive programming to increase awareness of and engagement with the 17 SDGs. Fill out this short form by February 12 to join the celebration. Questions? Email

Climate action and sustainability at VIU 🌏

Do you want to learn more about climate action and sustainability at VIU? Join the VIU Climate Action & Sustainability Community of Practice Teams site. Students can be added as a guest. Email to join.

bailey macabre exhibit 🎨

VIU’s View Gallery is hosting ᐹᑭᒋᐦᒉᐤ" pâkicihew (she has swollen hands), an installation by Nanaimo-based artist bailey macabre, organized by the Nanaimo Arts Council and curated by VIU alum Amber R. Morrison. The exhibit runs at the gallery until February 16. There is a closing reception and artist talk on February 15 from 5 to 7 pm. Learn more.

Supports & services

Canine Cuddles with the Wellness Peers program 🐶

Visit the Wellness Lounge at the Nanaimo campus library for free tea and hot chocolate, fidgets, adult colouring, friendly chats with the Wellness Peers and therapy dogs. Available Tuesdays to Thursdays. Check out the VIU Thrive websitefor more info.

Bike shelter now open 🚲

A new, secure bike shelter is now open in the middle of VIU’s Nanaimo campus! Next to the Centre for Health and Science (Building 210), features include gates with card access enabled for all students and employees, security cameras (coming soon), bike racks and a bike repair station. The bike shelter is part of VIU’s active transportation strategy, which aims to reduce carbon emissions and on-campus parking demand, while supporting health and wellness in the community. The project was funded through a grant from the BC government. 

Shq’apthut Well-being Wednesdays

Access services in Building 355, Room 211 every Wednesday from 10 am to 2 pm. Services include advising, Elders-in-Residence, Writing Centre, therapy dogs, library research assistance, reiki, Bannock, math tutoring and smudging.

ASIST Workshop

ASIST is an internationally acclaimed two-day workshop that prepares participants to provide suicide first aid interventions. It is open to VIU staff and students on February 22 and 23, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. For more information and to register, visit VIU Thrive.

SafeTALK Workshop

Are you interested in helping to build a more supportive VIU campus culture? Join the SafeTALK workshop on February 20, from 9 am to 1 pm, in Building 210, Room 110. You’ll learn how to prevent suicide at this training by recognizing signs, engaging someone and connecting them to an intervention resource for further support. Free registration through your CCR app or email

Get cyber safe this Valentine’s Day 💕

This Valentine’s Day, make sure you’re keeping yourself safe. Unlike your parents or any nosy family member, the government would never text, email or DM you asking for personal info! #GetCyberSafe by checking out this blog to ensure you’re sharing information safely with people and organizations.

Library displays this February 📖

  • In honour of Black History Month, the library is displaying relevant titles. We also have a website of resources and titles
  • The week of February 12, the library is bringing back Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover. All reading interests and book types will be in the mix!

Student Financial Aid funding opportunities 💰

Start 2024 by checking out the various external funding opportunities! VIU’s External Awards page provides various funding opportunities to help you with educational expenses. Some awards include the 2024 Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship Program, 2024 Indigenous Awards Program and the Telus Student BursaryLearn more about funding.   

StudentAid BC YouTube videos   

Watch StudentAid BC’s YouTube video series to learn about student financial assistance. Two new videos include:

Research opportunities for Black students

There are paid research opportunities for domestic undergrad students who identify as Black. Positions available in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and health sciences. Connect with to learn more.

VIU Experience Hub 💼

Log in to your VIU Experience Hub account, using your VIU single sign-on credentials, to access several student services. If you have any questions about the Experience Hub, please email The Experience Hub is where you can:

  • book appointments with educational and immigration advisors
  • book appointments with the Career Studio
  • view a job posting board where external employers are posting employment and internship opportunities
  • view on-campus employment opportunities

VIU Off-Campus Housing – Information and Support 🏡

Tension and arguments at home cause stress, disrupt studies and can impact your success at university. Roommate conflicts can result from: not paying bills, noise, food “borrowing,” messiness and character differences. Here are some tips for avoiding and dealing with conflict. Don’t delay – act now and resolve your differences! VIU’s Off-Campus Housing can also help with house hunting, temporary accommodation and tenancy issues. Visit Off-Campus Housing, email or book a meeting.

Nanaimo Neighbourhood Welcome 

New to the area? Looking to meet new friends and families? Nanaimo Neighbourhood Welcome organizes social events and delivers free welcome packages that include coupons, gifts and brochures for useful local businesses. Get in touch with Janet through their Facebook page.

Mark your calendars

Grad photo sessions 📷

Graduation photo sessions are coming up from March 4 to 28. Book your session through Appointment-PlusFind more information here.

Graduate Students with Impact

Apply by February 14 to be a Graduate Student with Impact! Don’t miss the opportunity to be featured across VIU’s media outlets and beyond!

Language in the Library

I sometimes get stressed about walking underneath pigeons because you-know-what… Thankfully, it has never happened to me (knocks on wood). Anyways, the Hul’q’umi’num’ word for pigeon is hum'a. Come learn and speak Hul’q’umi’num’ at Language in the Library on Fridays from 12:30 to 1:30 pm in the Madrona Room. Find registration details at Light snacks and refreshments provided.


Register by March 8 to guarantee your spot at VIU’s CREATE Conference and join the celebration of student scholarship, research and creative activity! Check out the different ways you can participate. Questions? Send an email to

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