Student with backpack wearing a mask

VIU Student Pulse News: September 1, 2021

September 1, 2021

The official back-to-school edition 🍂

Next week is the start of classes already, so we wanted to begin this issue of the Pulse by acknowledging that it is a big step we are all about to take in returning to campus. As VIU Counsellor Caitlin Eliasson reminds us in her returning to campus blog post, change and uncertainty can bring up many different feelings all at once. As we all navigate this change together, remember to be patient and understanding with those around you – and with yourself. And remember you are not alone – there are many services here for you, and faculty and staff who are ready to help. Finally, stay tuned to ourFall Semester Frequently Asked Questions page, which we are updating as we get more details about the provincial health orders announced last week and VIU’s vaccine self-declaration program.

More about the vaccine self-declaration program 🙋‍♀️

Last week, VIU announced a COVID-19 vaccination self-declaration program for all employees and students. We do not have an exact timeline for the roll-out of the vaccine self-declaration program, but it will likely be in place before the end of September. As soon as we have more information on the timeline and the implementation process, we will let our community know. In the interim we will be following all of the health and safety protocols that were put in place by the Provincial Health Office, including the new mask mandate. We will allow for some lead time for people to adapt to the new system. Stay tuned to our Frequently Asked Questions page for details, which will be updated regularly.

Need to know 

Vaccine clinics on campus 💉

To support people in getting their vaccines, we have arranged to have the VaxVan on VIU’s Nanaimo Campus on September 7, in the Royal Bank Plaza outside Building 200 from 10 am - 4 pm. There will also be a vaccine clinic on the first floor of Building 255 in the multi-purpose room (170) from September 8 - 23, 10 am - 2 pm. We are working on confirming clinics for our other campuses.

Looking for a job on campus this fall? 🍂

The fall and spring work-op job postings are now available for viewing on CareerVIU. Go to the Students & Alumni section and log in using your Registration student number and PIN then select On-Campus Employment for work-op postings. All students who are registered in nine credits or more and have a valid Social Insurance Number are eligible for work-op positions. Follow the instructions in the posting for how to apply. All work-op positions are part of the Co-Curricular Record Opportunity Directory! Check out the Campus Student Employment or Co-Curricular Record webpages to find out what this means for you.

Student Affairs extended hours ⌚️

Student Affairs is pleased to offer both extended hours and virtual hours this fall to meet the diverse needs of students. Effective September 7, 2021, extended hours of service will be available to students at the Nanaimo campus on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until 6:30 pm in: Financial Aid, Counselling, Accessibility Services and the Student Health Clinic. View the details here.


VIU Wayfinding Survey 📱

Have you struggled with finding your way on campus? Share your thoughts and win a prize! VIU is developing a new comprehensive and accessible wayfinding signage system. Fill out a short survey to let us know how we can improve your campus experience for the chance to win a $50 Campus Store gift card!

VIU Students’ Union Welcome Week Fair 👋

Welcome back to campus! Stop by the VIUSU building (193) to check out our Welcome Week Fair on September 7, 8 and 9. We can't wait to meet you in person, there are lots of giveaways, vendors, clubs and prizes. Make sure to visit the VIUSU tent to get your free student planner, it is extra special this year and we can't wait to show you why!

Student Life Fall Activity Guide now out 👟

From outdoor adventures like waterfall hikes, surfing, trail running and white-water kayaking, to indoor fitness classes, intramurals, tournaments and other special events like paintball and escape room challenges, Mariners Athletics and Recreation has lots of activities to keep you moving. As a result of the recent public health announcements, registration for fall programs opens on September 13 at 9 am.

Graduate Programs Expo 

Are you ready to take the next step in your post-secondary career? Don’t miss VIU’s first-ever online Graduate Program Expo on September 15. This event is for anyone thinking about furthering their studies at the graduate level, and will allow prospective students to connect with faculty in all of the graduate programs VIU offers. Register for the event.

Supports & services

VIUSU bookswap 📖

The VIU consignment bookswap is looking to sell your textbooks on your behalf. Each year this service puts thousands of dollars back into students’ pockets! Bring your texts to the Students’ Union office (Building 193 on the Nanaimo campus) during office hours, set your prices and your books will be listed for up to one year.

Get answers to your questions about university

Advisors are available to meet with students over Zoom or in person:

  • Zoom drop-in: Monday to Friday from 11 am to 1 pm, find us on Zoom.
  • In Person Drop-in: Come to Building 200, third floor at the Nanimo campus, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am - 3 pm.

Get your VIU ID card 

Your VIU ID card provides you with 24-7 access to the Nanaimo campus library, services such as loans and printing, various campus spaces and other perks.Follow these step-by-step directions.

Questions about off-campus housing? 🏠

Are you looking for a new housing arrangement and don’t know where to start? Reach out to Michael, in VIU’s Homestay and Off-Campus Housing team, at for tips and advice, including how to avoid scams and best places to search.

Accessible Nanaimo campus map now available 

Our new campus map is now printed and available for pickup at the Welcome Centre! The map provides information on how steep paths are and where people can travel without encountering stairs. Many hundreds of hours went into its creation and design. A big shout out to Matt Jamont, Cliff Feng, Zach Lamoureux and Becky Thiessen for their hard work and creativity. Check out theUniversal Access website to find downloadable Stair-free Building-to-Building routes, our Interactive Web Map, and more.

Services at the Nanaimo campus library

The transition to a new academic year may be more challenging this year than in the past, but the Library is here to help. Be sure to check out VIU Library’s Getting Started guide for important information on how to set up your VIU ID card and other library services and updates. Your VIU ID card provides you with 24-7 access to the Nanaimo Library, services such as loans and printing, various campus spaces, and other perks. Questions? Contact us!

Get your books and supplies from the Campus Store 📚

The Campus Store carries everything you need to make the most out of your VIU experience. This includes all your back-to-school gear, textbooks, digital access codes for online materials, special attire, tools, art supplies and much more. Nanaimo store hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Students can currently pick up online orders from the Cowichan store Tuesday to Thursday, 9 am to 3:30 pm, and after August 30, the store will be open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 3:30 pm.

Food on campus 🍕🍔

Hungry? We’ve got more food options at the Nanaimo campus starting September 7!

  • Cafeteria hours are Monday to Friday, 7 am to 7 pm and Saturdays 10 am to 2 pm.
  • Grab and go food items remain available in the Campus Store Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Starbucks will be open starting September 7 from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm.

Thrive: VIU’s wellness program 💭

Want to make this year your best yet? Connect with Thrive, VIU’s home for all things wellness! Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to stay up to date on all our great fall programming!

Fall 2021 parking FAQ 🚗

Some changes have been made to VIU’s parking structure, including a rate adjustment back to pre-pandemic pricing and some term options. Please read the Fall 2021 Parking FAQ to learn more.

Talk to Me 

Are you looking to get connected on campus? The Talk to Me program is a campaign to create a more connected VIU culture. Check our website out for more information, and follow us on Facebook for details on all our upcoming events!

The VIU Cowichan Learning Centre 

Are you a VIU Cowichan student looking for some extra academic support? You can find it through The Learning Centre. Work individually, attend tutorials, meet with a tutor, attend study skills workshops and receive writing assistance. Learning Centre tutorials are also available Mondays to Thursdays, from 12:15 pm to 1:15 pm.

Cowichan Writing Centre for university students ✏️

Writing isn’t easy, and a bit of guidance never hurts. The Cowichan Writing Centre is staffed by faculty who offer free, one-on-one assistance for students in university programs. Get help writing research papers, formal essays, book reviews, resumes and business letters. All appointments for the fall 2021 semester will be conducted online. Book an appointment online.

Volunteer Tutor program 

Volunteer Tutors are screened, trained and ready to offer support to students who request extra help with their studies. This free one-on-one help is available for most courses. Tutor request forms can be found here. Paper copies about the program are also available at the front desk of Student Affairs.

Thriving in Action 🧠

As the Fall semester approaches, are you looking for motivation, energy, well-being and academic success? If so, we’ve got the program for you! Join our innovative new program where you can learn better, feel better and do better. Check out all the details and register for our Fall Zoom session here!

COVID-19 updates

Mask Protocol FAQ 😷

Do you have questions about the mask mandate introduced last week by the Public Health Office for all indoor public spaces on campus, including lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, classrooms and labs? We have answers. View our mask protocol and FAQs.

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