Update: COVID-19, April 6

April 6, 2020 - 5:15pm

In today's update, we wanted to share that music is one of the things helping VIU President Dr. Deb Saucier get through these difficult times. And because #MusicIsMedicine, she has co-created a playlist with Registrar Fred Jacklin. Listen to the April Fools ?!? tracks on Spotify.

Also - we wanted to highlight that VIU’s Elders-in-Residence will be continuing to offer support or words of encouragement for students this week. 

Our next update will be on Thursday, April 9 - if you have any questions please email us at UniversityRelations@viu.ca.

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.

New Items for Today

Students and employees

1: Accessible content for eligible VIU Community members: Any eligible* member of the VIU community can gain access to the accessible and downloadable content available through the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS). Titles are available in audiobook, DAISY, PDF, EPUB, e-text, electronic Braille, and other accessible formats. While many NNELS titles are available to all, including the BC Open Textbook Collection, most titles are protected by Copyright, and will require a user login. The full collection can be found here. Please contact the library (library@viu.ca or 250.740.6330) to enable your access via a self-declaration form. Disability Access Services can also assist. For more information, please visit NNELS or contact VIU Library.

*Eligible users are those with perceptual disabilities (commonly known as print disabilities) or their caregiver.

2: New Gated Bike Compound on VIU’s Nanaimo Campus: As there are some people still needing to access the Nanaimo campus,VIU has created a secure compound around the lower campus bike park on the north side of the gym. The objective is to increase bike security. All VIU Community members can access the compound using their VIU ID card.


Student and Employee reminders

1: Online Activities:  Nanaimo Yoga Sanctuary invites the VIU community to online yoga classes. There are “events” scheduled and during class times, teachers will be going live in the “discussion” area of the event. Classes are scheduled through April 25. Grab your mat and follow along. Any donations can be made straight to VIU’s Advancement office. Regardless of the money, at this time our wish is for folks to look after themselves.

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

3: 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. 

Student-specific reminders

1: Elder Support to continue this week (April 6 - 9): VIU’s Elders-in-Residence will be available this week for phone calls with students who want some support or words of encouragement. Email Sylvia.Scow@viu.ca to access the Elders-in-Residence. 

2: 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.  

3: Important message about Intersession/Summer Session Courses: For students taking courses in May, June, July and August: These courses will go ahead as scheduled in alternate course delivery and assessment format, with no face-to-face instruction. Students will receive detailed information from course instructors outlining what this will entail at least one week before their course is scheduled to begin. Students in Academic and Career Preparation courses will hear from their instructors no later than April 9, 2020. We would like to thank students for their patience as we move these programs into a different mode of delivery. 

4: The Medical Clinic on VIU’s Nanaimo Campus remains open with some changes. Starting April 8, the clinic’s hours will be 8:30 am to 12 pm Monday to Thursday (changed from 11 am to 3 pm), as the need for medical professionals to aid in the COVID-19 efforts increases elsewhere in the community. Our nurse practitioners will continue to focus resources on providing service to existing patients, students in VIU Residence and Homestay students. Patients can continue to leave a message at 250-740-6620 to book telephone appointments.

5: Academic Penalty-Free Withdrawal – deadline changed: As noted in the email that went out on Friday, March 27 to all students, the deadline to withdraw from any class taken during the Spring 2020 semester has been moved to the final day of instruction, April 9, 2020. Students in Adult Basic Education courses have also had their course withdrawal deadline extended to the final day of instruction. Please send any questions to registration@viu.ca..

6: Flexible Grading: As noted in the email that went out on Friday, March 27 to all students, VIU has introduced a flexible grading process for students for the Spring 2020 semester. Students have the option of being graded on a “Pass/Fail” basis. To make this decision as easy as possible, you will be graded in the normal fashion with a letter grade and a corresponding grade point value. If, after receiving your final grade, you prefer to receive a grade of “CR”, please notify your instructor or the Records department (Records@viu.ca). A “CR” grade can replace any assigned passing grade. You will have up until the end of August 2020 to make this request. Please send any questions to Registration@viu.ca.  

7. E-tutoring available: International Academic Support (IAS) and VIU’s Writing Centre have moved to e-tutoring models. If you have any questions, email sylvia.arnold@viu.ca (IAS) or John.Hill@viu.ca (Writing Centre). 

8: International Students: 

  • Students currently insured under the guard.me plan have free 24/7/365 access to the mobileDoctor program. mobileDoctor by guard.me allows you to connect with Canadian doctors on Maple, a telemedicine company, as a part of your health benefits. Maple provides access to doctors, Canada-wide, on your phone, tablet or computer anytime, anywhere. Seeing a doctor on Maple is safe and reliable, and can help prevent the need to go to a walk-in clinic or emergency room. For more information about mobileDoctor and other guard.me services please consult VIU International guard.me
  • International Education has created a specific page for information for international students related to COVID-19
  • Further questions can be directed to Support.International@viu.ca. We will continue to update the FAQ resource as new questions come in.

Employee-specific reminders

1: 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. We’re used to seeing each other in the cafeteria, in the classroom, in the hallways and around campus, but without that physical space to interact, we thought this group would be a great place to spread some positivity. Share a video of you playing your favourite song on the guitar, a picture of your workspace at home, pictures of your furry “co-workers,” fun videos that are helping you keep a smile on your face, memes to make us laugh and messages of positivity for our community. Whatever you think would help brighten everyone's day. Join by searching Keeping Connected VIU on Facebook.

2: VIU’s Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning has published some guidance on how to protect yourself from Zoom bombing and on how to protect your privacy while using online tools (this includes templates for consent forms, if needed). 

3: Increase in Phishing Attempts – Be Extra vigilant: There has been a significant increase in phishing attempts. The attempts exploit the COVID-19 situation, urging individuals to click links for “crucial information” or to purchase masks, hand sanitizer, etc. Please remain vigilant during this time. When you click harmful links or enter your username/password in malicious websites, you put student, employee and VIU confidential data at risk.

4: Supports and Resources for Employees: Our fabulous Human Resources team has compiled a list of employee-specific resources including information on meditation courses and other supports. 

 More Information

Tags: Announcements

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