March 19, 2020 - 6:15pm

We have made some changes to our format to help everyone find the information they need.

Please note: New information is in the New Items section; information that’s already been shared is in the Reminder section.

In both the New Items and Reminder sections, you’ll find information for both students and employees highlighted in green; information specifically for students is highlighted in yellow; and information specifically for employees is highlighted in blue.

if you have questions not answered by the content on the website or in this latest update, please email universityrelations@viu.ca.



Students and Employees:

1: Global BC COVID-19 Townhall: Global BC is hosting a COVID-19 Townhall live today (Thursday, March 19, 2020) from 6:30 – 7:30 pm with Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and BC Health Minister Adrian Dix. It will be hosted by Global BC News Hour at 6 anchors Chris Gailus and Sophie Lui. You can also listen live on CKNW, or watch it live on Global’s website and on Global BC’s Facebook page.

2: IMPORTANT: IT Department Update: Please review these guidelines from our IT department for working remotely and promoting social distancing. All requests should be handled via email or phone to ensure adequate social distancing. Please email ithelp@viu.ca  or phone 250-740-6300. 

  • Cyber Security Update: It is imperative that we all take steps to protect our IT infrastructure from cyber-attacks during this vulnerable time. Please follow the guidelines closely, especially regarding VPN usage for employees – use it only when you absolutely need to, for accessing files – and log off as soon as your actions are complete. If we all do our part, we can ensure everyone’s online safety.  

3: Updates on Campus Facilities/Services:  

  • The Starbucks on VIU’s Nanaimo campus is now closed until further notice.
  • The Upper Cafeteria on the Nanaimo campus will be closing on Friday, March 20, 2020, at 3:30 pm, until further notice (the Lower Cafeteria is already closed); the Cowichan campus cafeteria remains open with a grab and go model.
  • The Campus Stores in Nanaimo and Cowichan are now closed to the public until further notice, but online ordering remains available. Visit https://campus-store.viu.ca to place your order.
  • Are you wondering what services/facilities are open or closed at VIU and how to access services now that the University is following the provincial government’s social distancing guidelines? We’ve created a webpage with more detailed information.


Student-specific updates:

1: Alternate course delivery and assessment: Instructors have been working hard this week to ensure that students can complete the semester. If they haven’t already, students should hear from their instructors by the end of the day today (Thursday, March 19) with information on how each course will be delivered for the remainder of the semester, as well as on how assessments will be done. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your instructors with any questions you have about the processes they have outlined.

2: Keeping Student Record Info Up-to-date: As correspondence between VIU and students is increasing, we ask all students to ensure that their email, mailing address and security passwords are up to date. For some specific services, students will need to know their security information. For example, Financial Aid will ask students to answer their security question to verify identity before conducting a phone meeting with them. To update, please log into My Student Record.


Employee-specific updates:

  • Working remotely guidelines and checklist: VIU is developing two documents outlining the process to support employees to work from a remote location. These are called the VIU Remote Work Checklist and Remote Work Guideline and will be distributed tomorrow, Friday, March 20.



Student-specific reminders:

1: Intersession and Summer session classes: These courses will go ahead in an alternate course delivery model with no face-to-face classes. Students who are registered for these programs will receive information from their course instructors outlining what this will entail within 2-3 weeks.

2: Internships and practicums: We know many students are experiencing frustration in securing internships and practicums and we are working to find alternatives and solutions. More information will be coming out early next week regarding these activities.

3: International Students:

  • VIU held a Facebook Live session on Tuesday March 17. We hope most questions to date were addressed. However, if you are an international student who has any other questions related to COVID-19 and your time at VIU, please email: support.international@viu.ca.

4: Counselling: Telephone counselling for VIU students is available 24/7 through Homewood Health by calling 1-800-663-1142.

5: Medical Clinic: The Medical Clinic on VIU’s Nanaimo Campus remains open and is focusing resources on providing service to existing patients and students in VIU residence. Modified Clinic hours are 11 - 3 pm, Monday - Thursday. Students who had existing booked appointments with a VIU counsellor will be contacted directly by their counsellors.

6: International and Study Abroad students:

Students recalled from VIU-sanctioned activities outside of Canada:

  • Students who have been recalled to Canada from VIU-sanctioned activities abroad need to review their travel insurance with guard.me and/or any other insurance provider, keep copies of travel related receipts, and consider beginning the claim process for any covered expenses. 
  • Students should also confirm with their host institution whether courses can be completed remotely. Institutions are rapidly changing their course delivery methods; it is recommended that you connect with your host faculty regularly for updates. 
  • Please contact eduabroad@viu.ca if you have any questions or need support.

Summer term payment deadline for international students:

  • The April 1 deadline for international student payments for summer term has been pushed out to April 20, 2020. This date will be reviewed again should the summer session start dates be pushed out. (Individual cases of delays for work terms and other placements should be directed to your academic faculty office.)
  • Please contact support.international@viu.ca if you have any questions or need support.

7: VIU’s Writing Centre is no longer open for face-to-face meetings; all of the appointments will be through e-tutoring. If you have any questions, please contact john.hill@vi.ca.


Employee-specific reminders

1: Important update from IT:

  • Information Technology is experiencing a high volume of VPN access requests and VPN usage. Due to current capacity limitations, please only connect to the VPN when using a service that requires VPN and be sure to disconnect from the VPN when you are no longer using that service.
  • Services that DO require the use of VPN include: files on network shares (U drive, department drives)
  • Services that DO NOT require the use of VPN include: most VIU resources such as Email, VIU Learn, FRS, Unit 4, SRS, InVIU, VIUTube, all websites.







Please review this information from our Library team to learn more about numerous available services, resources and supports - we’re here for you! Website updated daily on weekdays.


You can find more information and updates on COVID-19 at these places: 

  • VIU’s COVID-19 website (go here first)  
  • Employee and student emails (email will be used for broad community updates and any major changes; the website will contain all the updates)
  • VIU’s Safety App
  • VIU Twitter feeds: @viunews@viuniversity

Tags: Announcements

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