VIU students and instructor wearing masks and talking

VIU Student Pulse News: January 5, 2021

January 5, 2021

Student orientation, service updates, connection events and more

Welcome back to the start of the spring semester and, for new students – welcome to VIU! To kick off 2021, there are some new student orientation events planned (see the first item in Need to Know). This issue of the Pulse also includes some info about changes to VIU services and resources to start 2021 on a positive mental health note. Happy New Year!

Need to know

Rock VIU 2021 new student orientation

Spring Rock VIU 2021: Weeks of Welcome is your opportunity to vritually explore the campus, meet your faculty and build new connections with your peers. Rock VIU kicks off with the Opening Ceremony on Wednesday, January 6 at 6 pm, livestreamed through VIU’s Facebook Page. Then on January 22 and 23, new students can connect with peer mentors through the Beach Fire Chats – your chance to ask questions and connect with one another. You can download VIU’s Co-Curricular Involvement App, available through the Apple App and Google Play stores, to access all orientation events and details. For more information, visit the Rock VIU homepage.
There are also some special activities planned to give new international andgraduate students everything they need to know to get a good start at VIU:

Mitel phone system outage January 7

A Mitel phone system outage is scheduled for Thursday, January 7 starting at 4 pm, for 6-8 hours. During the outage, Mitel voicemail will not be reachable and anyone who calls will receive a fast busy signal. We ask that you call back the next day if you experience this. Thanks for your patience as we do necessary upgrades.

Virtual Q&A for VIU students

Do you have questions about how to access VIU services and supports? Need to connect with someone but not sure who? VIU is hosting virtual Q&A sessions for students via Zoom. Drop in anytime on Tuesday mornings from 8-9 am and Thursday afternoons from 3-4 pm for the month of January, starting January 5. Have a question about VIU services but don’t want to do Zoom? Email

New terms and conditions page in VIULearn

You may notice this semester that the first time you log on to a course in VIULearn, a page with information about academic honesty and behaviour expectations in an online learning environment appears before you can view your course outline. This won’t be new information for continuing students; it is simply meant to remind students of their responsibilities on these two topics. Please Note: you MUST hit accept to continue on to your course shell. If you have any questions or concerns about the information on this page, please connect with your instructors.


Invite your friends/family to our virtual Experience VIU event

Enjoying your VIU experience? Invite family and friends who are considering post-secondary to explore your University ... virtually! On January 16, 20 & 21, there will be prizes, activities, live chat for any questions and more! This event is for potential students considering VIU. Register by following this link:

Congratulations to the 2020-21 REACH Award recipients

REACH Awards support excellence in student scholarship, research and creative activity by providing them with a $3,000 stipend to enable them to complete their own independent project under mentorship. Check out the full list of recipients.

Internet gaming research study

Emma Ferris, a VIU Psychology student, is seeking individuals aged 17+ who currently play Internet games for her research towards the completion of the honours program. Participation in the study involves filling out a 20-minute online questionnaire regarding gaming habits and associated psychological experiences. Complete the survey here. 

CREATE Conference registration

CREATE 2021 registration opened on December 17! Did you do something cool last semester for a class? Want to gain some conference experience? There are LOTS of prizes! Registration page here. 

Get money to attend a conference

Thinking of attending a conference or workshop next semester? There’s lots of stuff happening virtually! VIU can cover the cost of registration – see this page for more info. Deadline is January 22.

Services & supports

Check your student record

VIUSU Extended Health and Dental Plan

Check out the image above for an important message from your students’ union! For more information about the plan, visit the VIUSU Health and Dental page or contact the Plan Administrator at

Learn more about VIU’s digital learning resources

Find out where and how to access VIULearn, VIUTube and VIUBlogs and get introduced to the video conferencing tool VIUOnline Rooms (powered by Zoom). You will also learn how to adjust your VIULearn settings and notifications for the best online experience. Hour-long sessions begin today (January 5) at 7 pm. Visit the Campus Events page to check out all dates and times for this online orientation.

Help with charting your educational journey

Do you have any concerns about how your fall semester ended? Are you unsure of your current educational path? Do you need help with course selection, understanding wait lists, changing programs, etc.? VIU’s Educational Advisors can help you take an objective look at your past educational journey and offer options moving forward. Connect early and connect often.

VIU Student Technology Guide

This is your one stop reference guide to university technology information for students. Learn how to create your computer account, update your email address, get your devices connected, and more. Reach out for support in the new Student Tech Help Chat!

Study spaces at the Nanaimo campus library

The Nanaimo campus library’s third and fourth floors are open 24/7, 365 days a year. Access the building with your VIU ID card. Our group study rooms are available for individual use starting January 7. Book online here. Check our Covid-19 updates page for the latest info on all library services.

FREE Thriving in Action Program

Are you looking for motivation, energy, well-being and academic success? If so, it’s your time to thrive! Join our new innovative, free program called Thriving in Action starting in January. 

It’s time for your check-up!

Your mental and emotional health are just as important as your physical health. Join the VIU counselling team for a drop-in, virtual mental health screening. The screening only takes 40 minutes and it’s free! This event is open to all VIU students on Thursday, January 28. Visit the event page for more details.

Bell Let’s Talk Day is January 28!

Bell Let’s Talk Day is a national campaign designed to support mental health across Canada. To get involved, keep your eyes on VIU’s Thrive Facebook page over the next few weeks for all of VIU’s Bell Let’s Talk Day activities!

Great sex and how to have it

Join us for this third and final sexual health and wellness session offered by Cowichan Valley Youth Services. In this session we will explore what makes sex great for you and potential partners. Visit the event page for more details.

Orientation for new Indigenous students

Plans are still being firmed up, but new Indigenous students can request a virtual orientation session in January by emailing Services for Aboriginal Students:

COVID-19 updates

Reminder: COVID clinic on VIU’s Nanaimo campus

Island Health is offering a drive-through COVID testing location in one of VIU’s lower parking lots (accessed via entrance 5A off Fifth Street). Check out this news article for more info.

COVID-19 protocols for on-campus activities

Are you coming to campus? Here’s what you need to know, from what to do BEFORE you come to campus, to our updated mask-wearing guidelines, to where to go if you have questions.

Campus events

Stay on top of what's happening at VIU by checking our Campus Events website. 

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