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VIU Student Pulse News: January 10, 2024

January 10, 2024

Start the Spring Semester off right 📚

Welcome to the first Student Pulse edition of 2024! And welcome to our new students joining us! Last week, we welcomed new students at RockVIU orientation activities. Here's a photo from our international student orientation. 
In this issue:

  • New: artificial intelligence guidelines at VIU
  • VIU Mariners home openers
  • Mental health screenings with VIU’s counselling team

Need to know

Severe weather campus closure procedures ❄️

With more snow in the forecast this week, it is the ideal time to review VIU's severe weather procedures. Please take some time to read the procedures on the website. Two key things to remember:

  • Don’t forget to download the VIU Safety App – this is where info will be posted first.
  • VIU’s website is updated next: Look for the banner notification at the top of the screen.

Walk like a penguin 🌬

It’s critical in the winter months that we all contribute to prevent slips, trips and falls on our campuses. For helpful winter safety tips, includig how to walk like a penguin when it's icy out, head over to the VIU Blog.

Artificial intelligence guidelines 🤖

VIU’s Academic Integrity Working Group has launched guidelines on the use of artificial intelligence in the classroom: “Academic Integrity and Generative Artificial Intelligence: Context, Considerations, Emerging Best Practices.” They can be found under “VIU Statement on Generative Artificial Intelligence.” The group would like to thank faculty for their valuable contributions to the document. Looking for more resources? See Questions about ChatGPT and Generative Artificial Intelligence.

Study abroad in 2024-25 ✈️

Broaden your horizons in 2024! Apply online by January 25 for an International Exchange semester at one of VIU’s partner schools around the world (courses taught in English) – departing in fall 2024 or spring 2025! Funding is available and you will also receive transfer credit towards your VIU degree. Reach out to the Education Abroad office for more information.

Midtown Water Supply Project: Trail closures around VIU 🚧

Knappett Industries Ltd. is continuing construction of the Midtown Water Supply Project for the City of Nanaimo. The trail behind VIU to the Black Diamond Drive/Crows Nest Place neighbourhood continues to be closed and roads in that area will be closed except for local traffic for the semester and at least into the summer. For more information, go to the project website.


Get Active with VIU Recreation 🏐

Online registration is open for VIU’s spring fitness classes, intramurals and tournaments. Recreation programs are discounted for VIU students. From evening sport leagues to weight training and yoga and even the VIU Amazing Race – there’s something for everyone and all skill levels. Visit Athletics and Recreation for listings and to register. 

VIU Mariners Semester Home Openers 🏀🏐

Wear blue and black and cheer on the VIU Mariners varsity basketball and volleyball teams on the stretch drive towards the PACWEST provincial playoffs! Games take place at the VIU gym on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons in January and February. VIU students receive free admission. Our basketball teams kick off the semester on Friday, January 12 and volleyball follows on January 19. Visit for schedules and game times.

Thrive team mental health day 🧠

On January 25, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, join the Thrive team in the main cafeteria to share a message of support to reduce stigma around mental health and learn more about events, programs and resources around campus to improve wellness. They will have hot beverages, cookies, resources, positive messages, toques and more.

Frost ice skating 

Get free admission and ice skate rentals at the Nanaimo Ice Centre on January 17 from 1:30 to 2:45 pm, thanks to your students' union. Learn more.

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. Highlights for January include:

  • January 13: Malahat Skywalk and Duncan Farmers’ Market
  • January 20: Tofino day trip
  • January 27: Snowshoeing trip at Mount Washington

Frost pancake breakfast 🥞

VIUSU’s Frost Pancake Breakfast is back! Come by the VIUSU office to pick up free pancakes, sausages, coffee, juice and other tasty breakfast treats before heading to class on January 17! We’ll start serving at 8 am until we run out (usually around 10:30 to 11 am).

VIUSU Polar Plunge Challenge 🌬

Dare to Bear the fourth annual Frost Polar Plunge challenge! From now until January 21, we challenge you to a quick dip in cold water. Before you dip, challenge at least two VIU friends, faculty or staff to do the same and post a video to your Instagram. Make sure to tag @viustudentsunion so we can re-share! Learn more.

Kudos to the Healthy U team! ­

Fourth-year Nursing students with the Healthy U team hosted their first successful flu vaccine clinic at VIU on November 27 and December 6. The group has developed a template for future clinics and plans to organize more in October 2024.

Participate in CREATE

The Spring Semester is all about sharing the cool things you’ve been working on, so it’s time to start planning how you’ll present your research and creative activity at the CREATE conference. Registrations opens on January 16.

Supports & services

Library quick start guide 📖

Welcoming all new and returning students! Check out our guide for new students to help get settled in. Have you got your VIU card yet? Use it to access various campus services and spaces. Upload your photo to your student record, then pick up your card in the library when it’s ready. Have questions? Connect with us in person, by phone, email, live chat or Zoom.

Free mental health check-up 🧠

Take 30 to 45 minutes to drop in for a mental health screening with VIU’s counselling team on January 26, anytime between 11 am and 2 pm in the Royal Arbutus Room (above the upper cafeteria). The event is free, anonymous and confidential. Take part in fun and engaging activities to learn more about stress, mood and anxiety problems, supports and self-care.

Career Studio 💼

If you are looking to secure a summer job or volunteer position in the coming months, or you are a recent graduate looking to move into your career, stop by the Career Studio in Building 255, Room 204! Our team can assist with resumes, cover letters, interview preparation and all other career-related needs. Our hours for drop-ins and appointments are now 10 am to 3 pm, Monday to Thursday.

Career Studio Employer Directory

The Career Studio recently launched a new resource that is designed to help VIU students in all programs in their career exploration by making it easier for them to find and learn about the top employers in every industry, locally and nationally. Access the Employer Directory.

LinkedIn Group for Students Seeking Employment 📲

The VIU Career Studio has launched a LinkedIn group for VIU students seeking employment, where they will be sharing job postings, event details and information to help VIU students from all programs get connected with employers and organizations relevant to their area of study. Join the group.

Resolve to be cyber safe this year 🎊

We hope your 2024 is full of happiness, cyber safety and online security. Why not start the new year off right with a cyber safe resolution? January 21 to 27 is Data Privacy Week. Take charge of your data. Learn to be a Privacy Snob!

Focus group for international students

Berani Fielding, a Royal Roads University graduate student, is seeking international students who have been in Canada for at least six months to join an upcoming focus group discussion. She wants to explore the challenges and aspirations unique to international students in the Canadian job market, focusing on available services. Free pizza is provided. Email to join.

Undergraduate Student Research Awards 💰

Applications are now open for these awards! Please visit the website for more information and eligibility criteria. The deadline for applications is January 29. Connect with if you have any questions. The research office is hosting a workshop on January 12 in Building 305, Room 440 at 11:30 am to provide tips on applying (in person only).

Health and Wellness Centre feedback

The Health and Wellness Centre at VIU includes the medical clinic as well as our counselling team. Learn more about the services. If you've used our services, please complete our Medical and Counselling feedback form.

SafeTALK Workshop 

If you want to learn how to prevent suicide by recognizing signs, engaging someone and connecting them to an intervention resource for further support, this is a session for you. Take SafeTALK workshop on January 26 from 9 am to 1 pm, in Building 210, Room 105. This workshop is open to VIU staff and students. Free registration through your CCR app or by emailing

Calling all bus riders! 🚍

Taking transit just got more convenient with Umo and the new 30-Day Pass. Avoid the hassle of taking an extra trip every month to pick up a new monthly pass by upgrading to a 30-day pass. Purchase it in the Umo app or on your reloadable Umo card. Receive a discounted price for unlimited travel within the RDN. Pick up a free reloadable Umo card from the VIU Students’ Union building.

Mark your calendars

Soup and Bannock Lunch and Learn 

Dr. Laura Cranmer of ‘Namgis and Haida descent, an Indian hospital and residential school Survivor, wrote Scenes from the Nanaimo Indian Hospital based on her three-year stay at the hospital as a young child. Learn more about this project on January 16, 11:30 am to 12:45 pm, in this Soup and Bannock presentation and discussion. Learn more and register.

Learn to speak Hul’q’umi’num’

Do you know the Hul’q’umi’num' word for star? It’s kwasun. Learn and speak introductory Hul’q’umi’num’ by joining Language in the Library on Fridays from 12:30 to 1:30 pm in the Madrona Room at the Nanaimo campus library. Registration is encouraged at but completely free. Light snacks and refreshments provided.

Welcome back feast

Join VIU’s Elders-in-Residence for a Welcome Back Feast on January 18 from 12 to 1:30 pm in the Royal Arbutus Room (above the main cafeteria). This event is brought to you by Services for Aboriginal Students and VIU Residences and sponsored by Food Services.

BC Investment Management Corp info session

Come learn about internship opportunities with BC Investment Management Corporation (BCI) and enjoy some pizza, courtesy of the VIU Faculty of Management! This event is open to VIU students from all programs, as BCI has a wide range of opportunities available for students from many programs. Event is on Thursday, January 25, from 11:30 am to 1 pm in the second-floor student lounge in Building 250. Register here.

Film screening - s-yéwyáw: Awaken

This character-driven documentary connects the transformative stories of three Indigenous multimedia changemakers and their four Elders. Film screening takes place in the Malaspina Theatre on January 16. Doors open at 3:30 pm, film screening starts at 4 pm followed by a Q&A period. Event is free for students. More info.

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