President's statement on the recent death of a VIU student

June 8, 2023 - 4:30pm

It is with deep sadness that I share the tragic news that one of our students passed away following an incident at Westwood Lake on Tuesday, June 7, 2023.

On behalf of the University, I want to offer my deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the student’s family, loved ones, their friends here at Vancouver Island University and abroad, and to everyone that knew and loved them. Our community shares your grief, and you are in our thoughts. As a parent and university president, I am heart-broken for your loss.

VIU will not be providing the name or any details about the cause of death out of respect for the privacy of the student and their family and friends.

VIU is providing support and assistance for the student’s friends who were with the student when the incident happened. VIU has been in contact with the student’s family, who are overseas, to provide as much support as possible.

This is an immense tragedy for our community. I encourage our students and employees to check in on each other and to access the in-person counselling supports we have made available on campus as well as the virtual and on-line counselling supports for students and employees.

I ask everyone in our VIU community and in Nanaimo to fill our hearts with compassion for the student’s family and friends and keep them close in your thoughts at this terrible time.


Dr. Deborah Saucier

President and Vice-Chancellor

Vancouver Island University

Tags: Announcements

Sign up for our VIU news and experts email