UPDATE: COVID-19, April 29

April 29, 2020 - 4:00pm

We wanted to take a moment to thank all frontline VIU employees who are working hard to keep our students and each other safe and supported. In recognition of health-care and essential service workers across Canada, VIU’s Office of Co-Curricular Engagement and Learning is organizing a Moment of Gratitude on Thursday, April 30 to express our support. Sign on to the Zoom chat at 6:45 pm and we will begin making noise at 7 pm for two minutes of clapping, cheering or honking horns. 

Below, 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.



Student and employee updates: 

1: Important update on events and public gatherings: All events and public gatherings hosted on VIU campuses or sites are cancelled or postponed until June 30, 2020. A review to possibly extend this recommendation will be conducted no later than May 15, 2020 and will follow the guidelines off the Public Health Office. Wondering what to do in place of an in-person event or gathering? Visit campusevents.viu.ca for some virtual event inspiration.  

2: VIU Campus Store:The VIU Campus Store remains steadfast in its commitment to assist with all VIU course material needs, specifically with faculty course material adoptions and course material distribution to students. While our physical bookstore is currently closed, our e-commerce site is fully operational with new items added to our website each week. We are offering free shipping for course material web orders, and an in-store pick-up option for web orders from Monday to Friday from 11 am to 1 pm. 

3: Virtual Gallery Show: Graduating Visual Art students have taken their final exhibition online in place of their traditional show at The View Gallery, which remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pandemonium is a celebration of the hard-earned achievements of the 2020 grad class. Students hope it will serve as a reminder that although the world has changed, our creativity and tenacity will help us navigate our way to a joyful future. 


Student-specific updates: 

1: VIU’s Office of Co-Curricular Engagement and Learning is organizing virtual social strengthening activities for students. Check out the full schedule and access the individual events in VIU’s online events calendar. Upcoming events include:  

2: Elder Support: VIU’s Elders-in-Residence are available this week if students need to reach out. Visit the VIU Shq’apthut Facebook page for details. 

3: Getting your student ID: If you need a new student ID, visit this page and scroll down to the section titled How to Get a Student ID Card During the COVID-19 Pandemic and follow the instructions. 


Employee specific updates:

1: Struggling with the pivot to alternate delivery and assessment? VIU’s Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning (CIEL) has released some podcasts capturing the stories of faculty members reflecting on the challenges they are facing and, more importantly, how they are overcoming them.

2: Curious about the new security features recently introduced by Zoom? Check out this new blog post from the Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning (CIEL) outlining the new options. 



Student and Employee reminders:

1: Vision2020 is Live: This year’s VIU Graphic Design Grad Show has transformed into an online experience. So stay safe, stay indoors and check out the show from the comfort of your couch as we celebrate our graduates. 

2: Got a virtual event you want to promote? Don’t forget to add it to the VIU Events calendar! To add your event, go to campusevents.viu.ca, click on the Menu on the right-hand side, and scroll down the list of options to click on “Submit Event.” 

3: Help a senior: You can help seniors stay connected and healthy by volunteering for the new province-wide initiative Safe Seniors, Strong Communities. The program is a partnership between United Way’s Better at Home program, bc211 and the BC Ministry of Health. It connects seniors 65 and older with a volunteer who can help them with grocery shopping, meal preparation, prescription pick-up or a friendly check-in call. People can volunteer at www.bc211.ca. If you need help you can dial 2-1-1 to access the organization’s help line, which provides free information and referral to a range of community, social and government services. The phone line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

6: VIU’s Faculty of International Education hosts Culture Kitchen: A weekly Facebook Live cooking show hosted by VIU Intercultural Program Coordinator Simón Schachner on Tuesdays starting at 5 pm. Each week features a different student or recent alumnus demonstrating how to cook one of their favourite dishes. Follow VIU Cultural Connections on Facebook to join in on the fun. Live comments and greetings encouraged.

7: Facilities Updates: Reminder: Visit our closed/open website for up-to-date information on all VIU’s facilities. 

8: Emotional Supports: We have created a list of both VIU and community supports that are available for everyone – please reach out if you need to and encourage others to do so as well. 

9. VIU Library: We are here to help, with several academic supports and work/study-break resources, too! The 24/7 Library Commons remains open via card access and is well stocked with VIU-made hand sanitizer, thanks to our amazing colleagues in the Chemistry department.


Student-specific reminders:

1: VIU Students’ Union Contest: Enter to win a $100 cash prize by attending a VIU virtual event and posting what you liked most about it on the #socialstrengthening wall in the VIUSU App (located in the Events & Social Strengthening tile). The contest is open until April 30. 

2: Moment of Gratitude: On Thursday, April 30, at 7 pm, Fun@VIU from the Office of Co-Curricular Engagement and Learning will be hosting a Moment of Gratitude. Here VIU and the Nanaimo Community will be brought together to express their support for health-care workers around Canada and everyone who is continuing to work in essential services. This Moment of Gratitude will be in line with the existing BC Clap for Healthcare Workers initiative that happens at 7 pm daily. We encourage everyone to join the Zoom chat at 6:45 pm and begin making noise at 7 pm for two minutes of clapping, cheering or honking horns. Email fun@viu.ca with any questions. 

3: On Wednesday, April 22, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a series of funding supports available to address concerns expressed by students across the country about paying rent, covering basic living expenses and finding meaningful work. These supports are designed to help students get through the summer, get work experience and continue their studies in the fall. Please see this VIU News story for more details. 

4: New free counselling service for students: The BC government has launched Here2Talk, a new mental health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students. The service offers confidential, free single-session services by app, phone or online chat, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. VIU’s own Associate Vice-President of Student Affairs, Irlanda Price, was part of the working/implementation group for this project and had the chance to test the app last week. It’s fast, easy and very user friendly and will complement our own services and supports greatly! More information is available on the VIU News website. 

5: Have your say on the impact of COVID-19: Statistics Canada is asking post-secondary students to provide their perspective on the impact of the #COVID-19 pandemic on their lives by filling out an online survey. The purpose is to provide early insight into the educational, employment and financial impacts of the pandemic on students, and the information will be used to evaluate the need for services and assistance programs.

6: Student Affairs needs YOUR input: What online events or workshops would you like to see more of to support you during this time? Please send your suggestions and comments to ­­studentaffairsadmin@viu.ca.

7: May the Fourth be with All of Us Student Contest: With the hopes of finding curiosity and inspiration in the middle of all this upheaval, the Office of Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity challenges you to get your creative juices flowing this spring! From essays to haikus to pics – there is something for everyone. Win some VIU swag and contribute to VIU’s historical documentation of Spring 2020, Our Time Like No Other. Check out this link for more details. 

8: Financial Assistance Resources for Students: Are you facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic? VIU’s Financial Aid team has created a resource page that lists a variety of supports and relief measures to help you get through this challenging time. It includes VIU supports, government relief measures and other supports.  

9:  International Students: 


Employee-specific reminders:

1: New Employee Supports Page: Human Resources has created a new page that lists all COVID-19 related resources available to employees. It has three categories - general, mental and physical health with a variety of options to choose from. Take a look and see what fantastic supports you can access. 

2: Play the facial recognition game: Before COVID, we saw each other on a daily basis, but did we really see each other? You might be good at recognizing faces, and could probably identify your siblings, cousins and even co-workers from a distance. Generally speaking, we can describe a person by their hair colour, skin colour or how tall they are but we may not be able to remember the colour of their eyes. We thought a game of Guess Who? would be a fun way to broaden our connection to our VIU family and a way to get to know our co-workers a little better. Email universityrelations@viu.ca a photo of you as a child, not a baby, because let’s face it, babies all look pretty much the same, plus a current picture of you by Friday, May 1, 2020 (Yes – we extended the deadline!). We will put together a photo album on our Keeping Connected Facebook page and you can all guess who they are.

3: Join Keeping Connected VIU - a new Facebook group for VIU employees that aims to give colleagues a place to share posts, and help each other smile during this time of social distancing. Whatever you think would help brighten everyone's day. Join by searching Keeping Connected VIU on Facebook.



Tags: Announcements

Sign up for our VIU news and experts email