March 25, 2020 - 6:30pm


You can connect with us at any time through universityrelations@viu.ca and visit our COVID-19 website for the most up to date information. 

Finally, thank you to those who shared ideas on how we can connect with and support each other during this time. We will start to share some of your ideas through our social media feeds over the next little while, so please continue to send them to us. 



Students and employees:

1: In recognition of the emotional and financial stress the COVID-19 situation has placed on students, WestPark and VIU have modified the refund policy for parking permits to allow more students to be refunded and increase the amount of the refund. Parking permit refunds given during this period will be pro-rated, based on the number of days that are remaining on your permit, and retroactive to Friday, March 13, 2020.

Please send a request to cancel your parking permit directly to WestPark’s Guest Services Department at guestservices@westpark.com no later than April 30, 2020. Refunds will be processed back to the credit card that the original purchase was made on as quickly as possible. Please note the on-site VIU Parking Office is temporarily closed for precautionary measures. WestPark can be reached at 1-778-746-7588 to answer any questions or concerns.

A refund process for employee parking permits is also in the works. We will be sending more details in the next couple of weeks as there are many different payment options currently available. Thank you for your patience as we work to put a process in place. 

Student specific updates:

1: The front desk in Building 255 (International) is no longer open as of today (March 25). All services will continue to be delivered remotely. Students can also visit the COVID-19 Updates for International Students page for more information and contact numbers. 

2: Are you struggling with the transition to alternate delivery? VIU’s Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning has a three-part blogpost – How to be a successful student during COVID-19 – to help students navigate the changes to courses, assignments and their own personal well-being. It includes three key strategies to help students manage these changes: stay connected to key people, make a plan and use good strategies.


Employee specific updates:

1: Check out these Tips and Tricks from IT if you are experiencing internet problems while working from home.



Student and Employee reminders:

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. 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’


3: Facilities Updates: 

  • 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. 


4: 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.


5: 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.


6: 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.


7: 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: 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: 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).


3: International Students:

  • International Education has created a specific page for all new information for international students related to COVID-19. The page includes the updated refund and deferral policy for new applicants, information about intersession and fall admissions, and other information relevant to current and prospective international students.
  • VIU has received many inquiries from international students who wish to attend for the fall term. A separate letter for new applicants has been 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.


4: 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: If you have a concern about a student’s mental well-being and if you would like to consult with a VIU Counsellor or have a counsellor to reach out to the student, please call  250-740-6416 and leave a message (all information will be kept confidential). Please let us know the best phone number to reach you at and we will contact you as soon as possible. Our phone system is monitored hourly between 8:30 am and 4 pm, Monday to Friday.


2: 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:


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


4: 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.


5: 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 Working on Campus or Remotely, 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. Please note that the original checklist has been slightly modified to make it easier to fill out. The most up-to-date version is found on the webpage.  Some employees have asked why they need to provide the address information. This is required per WorkSafeBC as not all employees are working from their primary residence.


6: 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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