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VIU Student Pulse News: January 24, 2024

January 25, 2024

Take care of your mental health 🧠

Now that the semester is off to a busy start (except for the snow interruptions last week), are you remembering to do things to support your mental health? There's a mental health check-up happening tomorrow in the Royal Arbutus Room. Drop by and learn more about stress reduction strategies.
In this issue:

  • Have your say on VIU budget priorities
  • Learn cedar weaving with Emily Mack
  • Register for VIU’s CREATE Conference

Need to know

VIU's Got Talent 

It's your last chance to buy tickets to VIU's Got Talent, happening tonight in the Malaspina Theatre from 6 to 9 pm! Register. 

Budget survey

As staff prepare VIU’s 2024-25 budget, your university wants to hear from you. We want to know where you feel VIU should focus its resources for the next three years, how often you want to receive communications about VIU’s budget and any concerns you have about VIU’s budget. Have your say by taking the survey. Results are anonymous and confidential. Access the survey.

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 25, 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.


VIU Mariners Basketball 

The Mariners women’s and men’s basketball teams have two home weekends remaining in this regular season: January 26 and 27 versus the Okanagan College Coyotes and February 2 and 3 versus the Columbia Bible College Bearcats. Wear VIU blue and cheer them on towards the PACWEST conference playoffs at the VIU Gym! Visit the Mariners homepage for game times.

Culture Night

Participate in cedar weaving with Emily Mack on January 24 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm in Building 300, Room 401 (Royal Arbutus Room above the cafeteria). Brought to you by Services for Aboriginal 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 starting January 31. Meet in the Royal Bank Plaza (outside Building 200). Questions? Email 

Diana Braithwaite at VIU Cowichan

Celebrate Black History Month at VIU Cowichan with blues singer and historian Diana Braithwaite, who will take the audience on an immersive journey through time. VIU and the Cowichan Intercultural Society are proud to present this free event at the VIU Cowichan campus on February 2 at 7 pm.

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 27: Snowshoeing trip at Mount Washington
  • February 3: Caving & Qualicum Beach
  • February 10: Mount Washington Ski/Tubing Trip

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.

Student elections 🗳️

Want to explore a leadership position with your students' union and/or VIU governance bodies? Learn more. Positions include:

  • Director of External Relations
  • Women Students' Representative
  • Senate Representative (four seats)
  • Board of Governors Representative (two seats)
  • Student Representative to the Senate Standing Committee on Indigenous Commitments (two seats), and more.

Last call for VIU fitness class registrations 

This is the last week to ensure your spot in our semester-long fitness classes at the VIU gym! Limited spots remain for evening classes which include yoga, weight training, boot camp, dance fitness and more. The registration fee is only $50 for eight sessions. Sign up online or visit the VIU gym’s front desk (Building 190).

LinkedIn Group for Students Seeking Employment

The VIU Career Studio has launched a LinkedIn group for VIU students from all programs seeking employment. Find job postings, events and information to help you connect with employers and organizations relevant to your area of study. Join the group.

Indigenous Intern Leadership Program

Calling all Indigenous students! Are you about to graduate? The Indigenous Intern Leadership Program might be for you! This program is a joint initiative of the Business Council of British Columbia, the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations and Vancouver Island University. Join an info session on February 1 from 12 to 1 pm via Zoom.

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. The event is on Thursday, January 25, from 11:30 am to 1 pm in the second-floor student lounge in Building 250. Register.

Supports & services

Career Studio is back in session! 

Drop by or schedule an appointment. Career Studio can assist you in enhancing your skills related to resumes, cover letters, job searches and career exploration. Explore workshops covering essential skills and stay updated on events like networking opportunities and career fairs through your Experience Hub account's Dashboard. To book appointments, locate Career Studio in the navigation panel and click on "Appointments." Given the upcoming summer internship opportunities, many students will be seeking assistance, so make sure to secure your spot early, as they tend to fill up quickly!

The Breakfast Bar 

Stop by the VIUSU office (Building 193) for a free bowl of cereal and coffee or tea. Being a student comes with many costs, so this breakfast program was launched to help with food security on campus. Available during office hours from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.

9-8-8: National Suicide Crisis Helpline 

Whatever you’re going through, you are not alone. 9-8-8 responders are available to help you find a way through, no matter what it is you are dealing with. If you are dealing with thoughts of suicide, or if you are worried about someone else, 9-8-8 is here for you. When you reach out, a trained responder will listen without judgment, provide support and understanding, and can tell you about resources that will help. Call or text 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

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 the CCR app or by emailing

The Good Food Box 

VIUSU has partnered with Nanaimo Foodshare to bring affordable, nutritious food to campus every week through the Good Food Box Program. Nanaimo Foodshare reduces the cost of healthy food by buying directly from farms and wholesalers. The Good Food Box is available to all students and community members. Learn more by watching this video. Order now!

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.

Get help on your assignments 

Need help on your next assignment? VIU Library is here for you. Library employees can help you delve into your topic and find the best resources to get you started. The library at the Nanaimo campus is open 24-7, just scan in with your VIU card. Check out service desk hours here.

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 education 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

Advising centre 

Check out Dates and Deadlines. For example: 

  • Last day to drop a Spring Semester course (after January 19) and receive a 50 per cent refund (to February 1) No refunds beyond February 2
  • Last day for academic penalty-free withdrawal from a Spring Semester course or to change from credit to audit in academic programs (April 2)
  • Spring Semester Study Days (February 20 to 23)
  • Deadline to submit online scholarships, awards and bursaries profile (March 30)

Have a great semester and remember to connect early and connect often with the VIU advising team. We are available in person at Building 200, by Zoom, phone or email.

Start 2024 off by staying safe and savvy! 

Protect yourself from telemarketing and retail scams over the phone. Learn what they are and how to spot them. Make #CyberSecurity a top resolution.

VIU Off-Campus Housing, information and support 

Have you just moved into rental accommodation? Is your contract correct? Did you pay any additional fees? Avoid possible issues at the end of your tenancy by understanding the essentials. Find out more in this blog post. Access information and support about finding housing and roommates, temporary accommodation and contracts, and fees and tenancy Issues. Visit the Off-Campus Housing homepage, contact Off-Campus Housing or book a meeting 

Canada Revenue Agency webinars

Canada Revenue Agency is hosting live monthly webinars on MS Teams. There is no registration required. Upcoming webinars include:

Respiratory illnesses are on the rise! 

In BC, visits to emergency rooms for respiratory illnesses have increased over recent months. As a reminder, VIU’s Communicable Diseases Plan remains in place year-round. Follow these steps to keep you, your colleagues and VIU students healthy during this cold and flu season.

  • Stay home if you are feeling unwell, even If symptoms are mild. Reach out to all of your instructors to let them know that you will be absent to determine what to do if you have to miss assignments or exams.
  • Wash your hands often. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
  • It's not too late to get extra protection! Anyone over six months can get an influenza vaccine and boosters are available for COVID-19 vaccinations. Learn more.

Public safety warning: drug toxicity deaths

In December the BC Coroners Service issued a public safety warning to anyone using substances purchased from the illicit market. The province has had an unprecedented number of unregulated drug-related deaths in 2023. Some advice from the BC Coroners Service:

  • Do not use drugs alone.
  • Take advantage of every available support to keep yourself safe.
  • Anyone using drugs should only do so in the presence of someone who will be able to provide naloxone and/or first aid and call 911.

Mark your calendars

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 but free. 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

Undergraduate Student Research Awards

The deadline to submit your Undergraduate Student Research Awards application is January 29! Read more about these awards and connect with if you have any questions.

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