March 24, 2020 - 6:00pm

We’d like to start by thanking the VIU Students’ Union (VIUSU) for their leadership today in launching a new initiative to support students who are facing unique financial challenges because of COVID-19. VIUSU, in partnership with the VIU Foundation, launched a campaign to raise $250,000 for emergency bursaries for students. 

We also know that many of you are coming up with creative ways to connect and support each other to get through this challenging time. If you have any ideas you’d like to share please email us at universityrelations@viu.ca.

In the meantime, you’ll find information for both students and employees highlighted in green; information specifically for students highlighted in yellow; and information specifically for employees highlighted in blue.

If you have a question, please connect with us through universityrelations@viu.ca. We will send out updates when we have new information to share. If you don’t receive one, please go to VIU’s COVID-19 website, where you’ll find our most up-to-date information. 



Students and employees:

1: Privacy guidelines: We’ve put together these guidelines to help everyone protect their personal and confidential information while they are working and studying away from campus.


2: BC’s Provincial Government has created a COVID-19 app with information and resources on managing the impacts of this crisis.


3. For those who were having trouble registering for iVolve, the self-paced cognitive behavioural therapy available for students and employees, here are some pointers:

  • If you don’t have a Homeweb account:
    • Click on the link above and choose ‘Sign-Up’
    •  Enter the details as requested, click ‘next’
    • Choose ‘employee or member’, click ‘next’
  • If you already have a Homeweb account, click on the link above, login and search ‘iVolve’


4: Facilities Updates

  • Building 210 on the Nanaimo campus is now accessible by student/employee card only.
  • VIU’s Facilities Services department is working on a parking refund process. More information will be available in the next week.   
  • The temporary washroom trailers outside Building 300 on the Nanaimo campus are being removed on Wednesday, March 25 due to an urgent request from Island Health. The washroom upgrades in Building 300 will be completed by Friday, March 27, 2020. In the meantime, people can use the washrooms in Building 305 (card access only). Part of the Library Quad will be closed temporarily on Wednesday while the structures are removed. 


Student specific updates:

1: International Students:


Employee specific updates:

1: Important Note from Human Resources: As we move to working off campus, we would like to remind everyone of our responsibility to ensure the following:

  • VIU’s regulations, policies and procedures and employment contracts are adhered to.
  • No in-person business visits or meetings with colleagues, students or the public at the temporary remote workplace; instead arrange for virtual job-related meetings, training sessions etc.
  • During regular work hours, check voicemail and email regularly and respond accordingly.

All employees should also ensure they have reviewed the important resources listed below to assist them in working remotely:


2: The Facilities Services work order system is available once again. Please submit work requests online or through the VIU Safety App.



Student and Employee reminders:

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


2: IT: If you need help with IT please contact 1-236-362-1121 or email ithelp@viu.ca to reach the IT Helpdesk. As well IT has put together these helpful guidelines.


3: Information on Campus Facilities/Services that are open or closed: 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.


4: E-counselling is available 24/7 for both students and employees by calling 1-800-663-1142.


5: 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.


6: Check out our Social Media pages where we will be sharing links and tips on how to support yourself and each other during this time: Twitter - @viunews, @viuniversity; Facebook: VIU News and Events; Vancouver Island University.


Student-specific reminders:

1: Financial Supports for Students: 

  •  If you are a student experiencing financial hardship, please email financialaidinfo@viu.ca with a request to access emergency bursary funds, which can be distributed quickly. Be sure to include your name, student number and reason for need. 
  • Don’t forget to fill out your Scholarship, Award and Bursary Profile. VIU is giving out approximately $2 million in scholarships and awards this spring to students, and all you have to do to apply for all of them is fill out your profile, which can be accessed by logging into your student records page. The March 31, 2020 VIU Scholarship, Award and Bursary deadline is quickly approaching. Learn how to apply by visiting Financial Aid.


2: International students:

  • While most International Education staff, including advisors and counsellors, are working offsite, the front desk in Building 255 will continue to be open from 12 noon - 2 pm Monday to Friday to provide contact information for support and questions. Social distancing precautions are in place.
  • VIU has received many inquiries from international students who wish to attend for the fall term. A separate letter for new applicants will be sent directly to new applicants, and an international FAQ document has been created to answer many of the questions we are hearing from current/returning international students. Further questions can be directed to support.international@viu.ca. We will continue to update the FAQ resource as new questions come in.


3: 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.


Employee-specific reminders:

1: As there are some employees who are still coming to campus to support essential services, we wanted to remind all of them about the protocols when you are working on your own. The key point is if you are working alone on campus please call security at 250-753-3812 to let them know when you arrive and when you leave.


2: Working remotely guidelines and checklist: VIU has developed 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. They are located on a web page titled VIU Human Resources Documents Regarding COVID-19, which can be found in the menu on the main COVID-19 page. Managers will be reaching out to employees very soon to discuss and complete the checklist. 


3: VPN USAGE: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.



  • 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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