Students in Library

Student Activities

The Student Activities department offers an extensive selection of extracurricular activities. Each student who paid a Student Activity Fee is eligible to participate in outdoor recreation, intramural and fitness programs, as well as to use the Gym. Non-students may participate in some activities as guests at a special rate, space permitting.

Outdoor Recreation Programs

Outdoor recreation programs are designed to enhance the formal education process by involving students in a wide a range of activities, both indoors and outdoors, at very affordable rates. Outdoor recreation activities include:

  • Non-credit instruction courses in sport and recreation including canoeing, kayaking, cross-country skiing, and rock climbing.
  • Scheduled swimming pool sessions including sauna, hotpool, and weight room.
  • Outdoor activities and outings including downhill and cross-country skiing, surfing, hiking, river kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, sea kayaking, and river rafting.
  • Leadership and skills training in sea/surf kayak guiding and river rafting.

For more information on program offerings or registration information, please drop by the Gymnasium equipment office, or contact the Outdoor Recreation Coordinator at 250.753.3245 Ext. 2480.

VIU offers a full athletic program to meet the needs of students involved at a varsity level of competition. To be eligible to participate on inter-varsity athletic teams, students must be registered in a minimum of 9 credit hours of course work per term and meet academic requirements.

VIU is a charter member of the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST); 14 B.C. University/Colleges are actively involved in the conference. Athletes travel to league and tournament commitments at various University/Colleges in B.C. Winners of provincial play-offs advance to national championships, held annually in different provinces. The Athletic department at VIU is traditionally one of the top programs in B.C. and Canada: 48 provincial titles and nine national titles have been won by the Mariners.

The athletic program at VIU is committed to a program of excellence, with a strong emphasis on quality coaching. Scholarships and awards are given annually to athletes who demonstrate excellence in their athletic or academic performance.

For current teams and detailed information, please see VIU Mariners Athletics. The athletic program is coordinated and supervised by the Director of Athletics.

VIU Campus Recreation

VIU Campus Rec is categorized into three distinct areas. Their descriptions are as follows:


Fitness and Lifestyle Activities


Intramurals are for everyone at VIU—students, faculty and staff as well as community members. They are designed to enhance the formal education process by meeting all levels of aspiration and skill, and to provide a meeting place for people from every part of the University. Events range from one-day tournaments to semester-long leagues and special events.

The Fitness and Lifestyle Activities area offers a variety of health, wellness and fitness-related activities, services, and classes as well as a number of exercise and fitness assessment programs for students, faculty, and staff.

The VIU Gymnasium provides facilities and services to help you reach your fitness goals. Students with a valid student card may use the gymnasium facilities.

The main gym floor is 20,000 square feet and has courts for volleyball, basketball, badminton, soccer and more. The multi-purpose room is available for dance, stretching, table tennis, heavy and speed boxing bags, Swiss balls, skipping ropes and medicine ball use. The fitness/weight room has individual weight stations, free weights, exercise bikes, rowing and elliptical machines and treadmills. The convertible squash/racquetball court can be used for all court activities including walleyball. There is also a full range of locker and towel services available. A variety of sports equipment is available for use.

For further information about gym hours, memberships, squash court bookings, etc., check Campus Recreation.

VIU Students’ Union

The VIU Students’ Union is the democratic organization of all VIU Students that exists to provide services, advocacy, representation and events. Services provided by the Students’ Union include the annual Handbook, the Studentsaver card, low-cost photocopying and faxing, Used Book Store, International Student Identity Cards, an online housing service, discounted travel opportunities, and special events. The Union also has a First Nations Centre, Equality Resource Centre, and a full service pub. The Students’ Union puts on various activities, such as dances, Welcome Week, movie nights, an annual Christmas party, and guest speakers. A number of clubs and associations operate under the auspices of the Students’ Union including the VIU Recreation and Tourism Association, Global Studies Students’ Association, Rights and Democracy Club, Anthropology Students’ Association, Club Education, Criminology Students’ Association, Arts Club and VIU NDP Club.

Special events and activities are also organized through the Students’ Union Pub, which offers full beverage and food services.

An elected Board of Directors of 23 students, together with staff members, implement the work of the Union on behalf of all VIU Students. Board members are also responsible for representing students in meetings with the University and the external community. Students at all campuses elect 7 program representatives and 3 campus representatives (one from each campus), each Fall; and 6 portfolio positions and 5 directors-at-large, each Spring.

As members of the Students’ Union, VIU Students are also members of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) –Canada’s national student organization. Membership in the Federation supports its research and lobbying work, as well as the coordination of national and provincial campaigns, services and communication between member student unions. The Federation’s elected representatives, policies, campaigns and budget are determined at two national and two provincial general meetings a year. The VIU Students’ Union Local 61, joined the Federation in 1989 by a referendum vote of 92% in favour. More information on Federation services, advocacy, representation and campaigns can be accessed at Canadian Federation of Students.

The Students’ Union office is located in Building 193. Tel: 250.754.8866; fax: 250.754.8919; e-mail

The Navigator

The Navigator newspaper is published for the Vancouver Island University community on 14 selected Wednesdays of the academic year. The free newspaper is partially supported by the Students’ Union Fee. Students and VIU employees are invited to submit articles for publication. The Navigator Newspaper Society (NNS) is a non-profit society incorporated under the British Columbia Societies Act. Its purpose is to publish The Navigator newspaper, ensure its editorial integrity, and provide students with practical experience in running a newspaper. Elections to the NNS Board of Directors are held annually.

Learn more about the Navigator