Two women dressed as witches paddle on Westwood Lake

VIU Student Pulse News: October 25, 2023

October 25, 2023

Ready for Halloween? 👻

There are several fun events happening at/near VIU over the next few weeks, from the Westwood Lake Witch Paddle to Mariners games and WorldVIU Days. See you there!
Also in this issue:

  • The deadline to apply for VIU bursaries is October 30
  • Get a wellness kit
  • Academic supports

Need to know

Westwood Lake Witch Paddle 🧙‍♀️

The VIUSU 2023 Westwood Lake Witch Paddle is on Sunday, October 29 at 11 am! Bring your paddle board or kayak, life jacket, and costume and have a fun paddle on the lake with us. We’ll be launching onto the water from the second beach. This free event includes a kids’ scavenger hunt, face painting, pumpkin painting, bouncy castle, food trucks, live DJ and more. Donations received at this event will be given to Nanaimo Loaves & Fishes Food Bank and Nanaimo Foodshare. Volunteer or reserve a free paddleboard

How can we create a vibrant campus community? 🗣

Join VIU Master of Community Planning students for a dynamic discussion session on creating a vibrant campus community on October 30 in the Royal Arbutus Room (above the main cafeteria). Drop by anytime between 1 pm and 4 pm and share your thoughts! Learn more

WorldVIU Days 🌏

WorldVIU Days (November 6 to 10) is VIU’s annual cross-campus celebration of diverse cultures. This year’s theme is Community Through Movement. View the schedule. Here’s a preview of some of the key events that week:

  • Breaking Bread: featuring breads from around the world
  • Global Fashion Show: students show off clothing from their home countries
  • WorldVIU Stage: Performances of music and dance in the main cafeteria
  • International Silent Disco: Dance to two live DJs!
  • Diwali Celebration: A celebration of light

Urban Issues Film Festival

The 16th annual Urban Issues Film Festival takes place at Vancouver Island University on Friday, November 3. The theme this year is Prox(City) How Close are We?: The Possibilities of Walkable, Accessible, Car Free Urban Centres. Get your free tickets.


VIU Mariners Basketball home openers 🏀

Cheer on the VIU Mariners basketball teams for the first time this season as they host the Capilano Blues at the VIU Gym on October 26 and 27. The women’s matchups are at 6 pm with the men following at 8 pm. Before Thursday’s games, check out the VIUSU tailgate party at 4 pm that includes free hot dogs, music, games, face painting and more. Dress in your Halloween costume and enter a costume contest that takes place during the games. Take your seats by 5:30 pm for our women’s basketball national championship banner raising ceremony.

PACWEST Provincial Soccer Championships ⚽️

VIU hosts BC’s top collegiate soccer teams at the PACWEST Provincial Championships on October 28 and 29 at Q'unq'inuqwstuxw Stadium – right beside VIU’s Nanaimo campus. Games are free to attend and we’re looking for loud support for the Mariners in Saturday’s semifinals! Cheer on our women’s team at 2:30 pm and our men’s team at 5:15 pm as they battle for provincial titles. If you can’t join us, tune in online on

VIUSU Pub Halloween Party 🎃

Come to the Students’ Union Pub on Thursday (October 26), 9 pm to midnight, for a Halloween Party featuring live entertainment by Johnny Inappropriate, spooky drink specials, a costume contest and more! Don't miss the party of the year, filled with thrilling surprises, devilish delights and Halloween spirit.

Bicycle Film Festival Nanaimo 🚴‍♀️

Hosted by Hub City Cycles Community Coop along with the City of Nanaimo, the Bicycle Film Festival is part of Fall Go By Bike Week. It takes place November 9 in the Malaspina Theatre. For lovers of pro cycling, gravel biking, mountain biking, youth culture and more. This program will take you on a journey with passionate cyclists around the world. Buy tickets on Eventbrite.

Open Mic Night at the Students’ Union Pub 🎙

Weekly from 9 pm to 12 am every Thursday night. A house guitar is available for interested performers, don’t be shy! Hosted by Michelle Loretta.

Language in the Library 🗣

Did you know that “autumn” is yuxay’tl’thut in hul’q’umi’num’? If you didn’t, come to Language in the Library to learn more of the hul’q’umi’num’ language. Upcoming fall sessions are on Fridays from 12:30 to 1:30 pm in the Madrona Room (Building 305). Register at to join a community of diverse learners.

FREE Naloxone & Harm Reduction Training

Learn how to save lives with Claire Dineen of AVI Nanaimo during this free Naloxone & Harm Reduction training session. November 7 from 3 to 5 pm in Building 193. This is your chance to gain essential knowledge on how to respond to an opioid overdose and potentially save a life. Advance registration required.

Free swim 🏊‍♀️

The next Free Swim for VIU Students at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre is on November 16. Check the VIUSU app for more info.

Exchange cafes 🌏

Education Abroad will is hosting two Exchange Cafes during WorldVIU Days. Join VIU exchange students for coffee and conversation about studying abroad. Learn about the application process and deadlines, funding opportunities and partner schools abroad. A delectable assortment of culinary treats will be provided, courtesy of VIU’s internationally trained Baking department. The sessions run from 1 to 2 pm in Building 255, Room 205. November 7 covers the Americas, Asia and Australia. November 8 is Europe.

Make a spine poem 📚

David, our new librarian, made a spine poem. What spine poems can you make from the library’s books? Message your spine poem to the library on Instagram @VIULibrary and we can repost it!

2SLGBTQ+ socials 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️

The Positive Space Alliance hosts socials in Building 250, Room 402 from 12 to 1 pm every second Wednesday. Dates: September 13, 27. October 11 and 25. November 8 and 22. December 6.

Cultural Connections road trips and hikes

Every semester, Cultural Connections organizes road trips and local hikes for all VIU students. Hikes are only $2! Next up:  

  • October 20: The Abyss trail
  • October 27: Nanaimo River Hatchery
  • October 28: Victoria: The Halloween edition

Supports & services

Walks for Wellness 🌲

This Thursday (October 26), join us at 3 pm at the bus loop for a walk to Colliery Dam Park to practice using nature to improve your mood and relieve stress.

Support for your academic goals 📖

VIU offers a range of support services to help you achieve your goals. Here are a few to check out:

Wellness kits 

As part of World Mental Health Month, Thrive is giving away small kits with items related to the dimensions of wellness. Grab yours at one of the times/locations listed below: 

  • October 26: 11 am to 1 pm in the Wellness Lounge in the library
  • October 27: 5:30 to 6:30 pm at the Mariner's game in the VIU gym
  • October 30: 11:30 am to 1 pm in the cafeteria
  • October 31: 4:30 to 5:30 pm in the Cedar Centre at VIU Residences

What’s your next educational goal? 

Exploratory University Studies (EXPO) is an opportunity for you to take university credit courses while exploring your options further. EXPO students receive individualized support from Educational Advisors to help you deepen your understanding of your strengths, values and interests while developing realistic plans to help you meet your educational goals. If you are ready to move out of EXPO and into a specific program, connect with the Advising Centre to discuss your options and/or create your educational path. Students can also check out the new option to transfer into BA, BSc or BBA Programs.

VIUSU working groups

VIUSU will be hosting a Campaigns Working Group and a Campus Life Working Group that are open to all students. Provide your feedback and suggestions in our discussion on how to improve student life at VIU including topics related to parking, tuition fees and more at the Campaigns Working Group. Suggest ideas and improvements to VIUSU events at the Campus Life Working Group. More information about each working group, including dates for the next meetings, can be found in the event listings section of the VIUSU app.

Safer Campuses for Everyone

Want to contribute to creating a safer campus for everyone and have a chance to win $500 in tuition credits? Take this self-paced, online training where you will learn about the importance of consent in all relationships and how to intervene to prevent sexual violence. Learn how to enroll in this course. The tuition credit winner will be drawn on November 20.

Applying for grad scholarships 💰

Are you planning to apply to grad school? Join us for a workshop on the Canada Graduate Scholarship – Master’s Program. When: October 26, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. Where: Building 305 Room 440. 

Cyber Security doesn't have to be spooky 👻

This year for Halloween, share your motivation with the world! 

Rental Property Maintenance & Pests 🕷

Dripping pipes, creeping fungus and biting bed bugs? Not everyone’s favourite topics but the cooler months can bring unwelcome guests. Avoid problems, know what to look out for – and what to do if your bedsheets start hopping. Read this VIU Blog post for more info. And access information and support about finding housing and roommates, temporary accommodation, and contracts, fees and tenancy issues on the Off-Campus Housing website.

REACH Award applications open

Are you doing (or planning to start) a super cool project that will increase our knowledge and spark our curiosity? Consider applying for a REACH Award! There are 10 awards for undergrad students and five for graduate students worth $3,000 each. Apply by October 31. More info.

Mark your calendars

Apply for VIU bursaries by October 30

Don’t forget to fill out your online Scholarships, Awards and Bursaries profile by Monday, October 30 at midnight to get in the running for hundreds of VIU bursaries. To complete your profile, go to your student record. Visit the Financial Aid website for tips.

Collateral Damage – fall play

VIU’s Theatre Department presents Collateral Damage this fall. Audience members are advised that the play involves strong language and imagery concerning rape and murder. The show runs October 19 to 21 and October 26 to 28 at VIU’s Malaspina Theatre (Building 310) at the Nanaimo campus. There is a matinee on October 26 at 10 am. Tickets are $10 and are available on Eventbrite.

Physical Therapy info session

Are you interested in physical therapy? The UBC Department of Physical Therapy will be at VIU on November 23 for an in-person info session to talk about the Master of Physical Therapy program. A department representative and current student will present on the MPT student experience and admission requirements for the MPT program followed by a Q&A session. The info session runs from 5 to 6:30 pm in Building 356, Room 109.

BC law school road trip

Recruiters from the law schools of the University of Victoria, University of British Columbia and Thompson Rivers University will be at VIU’s Nanaimo campus on November 2 to give a panel on applying to law school answer your questions. The session runs from 3 to 5 pm in Building 225, Room 170.

Stay in the know

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

VIU Safety App

Get the VIU mobile app designed to let you know as quickly as possible if there is a safety issue happening on our campus and if so, what to do about it. Once you download, don’t forget to enable push notifications so you are notified immediately of campus closures and other safety issues. It also has other great features including:

  • Click to call for emergency contacts and campus security
  • Interactive campus maps
  • Safety toolbox alarm and location notifier
  • Up-to-date weather alerts

To download just go to the App StoreGoogle Play or Blackberry App World.

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