Kennedy Ordano portrait shot in the Wellness Lounge

VIU Student Pulse News: January 12, 2022

January 12, 2022

Happy New Year and we hope you had a good winter break. This is the first edition of the Student Pulse newsletter, your source for what’s happening at VIU. Our featured student this week is Kennedy Ordano, a Bachelor of Science student and Wellness Peer. To read more about Kennedy and the Wellness Peer program, check out her story on the #VIUBlog.

On Friday, you received an email from our senior management team with more information about health and safety protocols for on-campus activities. We are constantly updating our Frequently Asked Questions page, so please bookmark that page and have a look at what’s there now for more information.

We also wanted to apologize to students who didn’t receive the December 30 communication about the delayed start to the semester. There was an issue with our list serve program and we didn’t realize it wasn’t working properly until Monday, January 3, when we re-sent the email manually. The issue has now been fixed. We are deeply sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.

Need to know

RockVIU new student orientation 😎

New to VIU and looking for a way to connect with the student community, learn more about services and discover the ins and outs of university life? RockVIU 2022: the spring edition started on Monday, January 4 with a livestreamed Opening Ceremony. Next up:

  • VIU and More Virtual Q&A Panel (January 14): Online from 10 am to 1 pm: This event aims to connect you with resources and groups on campus.

Register on Eventbrite.

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. Learn more.

Mental health supports ☎️🗣

In need of support? You are not alone. We wanted to remind you that VIU counsellors are here for you, and there are two new government platforms available as well:

  • The Government of Canada’s Wellness Together portal offers access to free and confidential online mental health and substance use supports, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 
  • Here2Talk is a BC Government platform that connects post-secondary students – domestic and international – with free, confidential counselling and community referral services, available 24-7 via app, phone and web.

COVID updates

As we all return to in-person learning and work this week, VIU wants to remind our community of the safety protocols in place:

  • If you’re sick, stay home: Assess yourself before coming to campus. 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. Wash your hands after.
  • 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.
  • Get vaccinated. Everyone eligible is strongly encouraged to get fully immunized against COVID-19. Everyone 18 years and older will be invited to get a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine about six months after their second dose of the vaccine. Learn more.

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

COVID illness reporting

Are you experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have you been diagnosed with COVID? Visit the What to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result website for a step-by-step guide for what to do, including who to notify and how to manage your illness.


Polar Plunge - Virtual Challenge 🥶

Dare to Bear the FROST Polar Plunge challenge! From January 14 - 23, 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 reshare! We encourage all students, faculties and departments to participate!

Roommates required! 🙋

Some new international and domestic students are still looking for somewhere to live. We all know the rental market shortage is an ongoing issue and we are always trying to get creative for our students. So, if you have a spare room in your house (or know someone who does), and some extra income would be handy, sharing with a roommate could be a great solution for everyone. If you’d like to know more about rights, responsibilities and contracts, Renting It Right offers lots of advice. If you’re ready to take in a roommate, the VIUSU app and Places4Students are great places to advertise. Contact Michael at about sharing with roommates and any other off-campus housing questions.

Graduate Studies Expo 🎓

Are you wondering if graduate studies will help you prepare for the next step in your journey? Register for VIU’s virtual Graduate Programs Expo on January 19 to meet with faculty, students, alumni and recruiters and learn more about graduate program options at VIU.

Blood donation clinic

In partnership with Canadian Blood Services, the Psychology Club has organized a blood donation at Beban Park Social Centre, Auditorium A, on Saturday, January 22, 2022, from 12:50 to 2:40 pm. 

Supports and services

Learning technology orientation 💻

The Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning (CIEL) supports students with learning technologies, including VIULearnVIUTubeVIUBlogs (WordPress) and VIUOnline Rooms (Zoom). We have two orientations in December before the winter break & daily orientations during the first two weeks of January. Watch a recorded orientation or access a calendar of CIEL events and register to attend a live orientation.

Build the perfect resume and cover letter 📑

Learn how to take your resume and cover letter to the next level with a workshop hosted by VIU’s Centre for Experiential Learning. This online workshop is free for students and is entirely self-paced. To register, email

Wellness Lounge ☕️

Have you heard of the Wellness Lounge? Check out this new space in the library that has free tea and hot chocolate, colouring pages, fidgets, therapy dogs and more! Need a break or want to connect with a peer? Stop by for five minutes or five hours! The Wellness Peers service starts up mid-January for the Spring semester. Visit the Wellness Peers homepage for hours and details.

Extended Hours for Students ⏱

Extended hours as well as virtual hours will be available for several Nanaimo campus services this spring on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until 6:30 pm, including Financial Aid, Counselling, Accessibility Services and the Student Health Clinic. Learn more.

Accessibility Services, Financial Aid, Centre for Experiential Learning are moving! ➡️⬆️

Starting on January 4, access these services in Building 255 (previously located in Building 200).

Fall semester didn’t go as planned? 📚

Talk with Advising for support and suggestions for spring semester and beyond. Connect with an Advisor by phone, email, Zoom or in-person.

Language in the Library 📖

Happy New Year from the VIU library staff! One of our favourite things about VIU library is our Language in the Library sessions at the Nanaimo campus! Come and join in Hul’q’umi’num’ learning and story sharing. Everyone welcome! Snacks are provided. Visit the Language in the Library page for more information.

Thriving in Action 🙋‍♀️

Want to learn better, feel better and do better this semester? Join Thriving in Action starting January 18 and running throughout the semester on a drop-in basis. For more info and to register visit Thriving in Action.


Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognize when someone may have thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. If you are a student who is interested in taking this training, please contact

SafeTalk Suicide Prevention Training

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

Bell Let’s Talk Day 🗣

Bell Let’s Talk Day is January 26. This is a day where we create conversations about mental health and mental illness to reduce stigma and spread support and love. Follow Thrive on Facebook (@ThriveVIU) and Instagram (#viuthrive) to stay up to date on all of VIU’s Bell Let’s Talk Day activities!

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.

Mark your calendars

Shifting deadlines due to January 10 start of classes 📅

Due to the delayed start of classes, several important deadlines are changing:

  • Waitlist period: is now January 10 to January 17 (from January 6 to January 13);
  • The last day to completely withdraw from all courses and have only the $200 semester minimum assessment fee is now January 23 (moved from January 19);
  • Unless otherwise notified, academic programs will end instruction on April 8 as originally scheduled.


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:

  • SoftMoc: Get 10% off regular and sale-priced merchandise, in Woodgrove Centre.
  • Optimize Nutrition: Get 10% off your purchase.

Campus events

Stay on top of what's happening at VIU. Find ways to get involved: 

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