May 6, 2020 - 6:15pm

We thought we’d start by sharing a video message of encouragement and support for our students from, appropriately, our Associate Vice-President of Student Affairs, Irlanda Price. As she says in this video, we wanted to let our students know how proud we are of your resilience, patience and strength and to remind you that we are still here for you - student services like advising and counselling are still available and there are fun activities being planned weekly with the goal of keeping us all connected during this time. Check out the links below for more information. Over the next while, we will be sharing some more videos from different VIU employees. Stay tuned! 



Student and employee updates: 

1: Welcome to the Interior Design Digital Showcase 2020: VIU’s Bachelor of Interior Design Year-End Showcase is an annual event exhibiting the work of our students from all four years. This year we have moved to a digital format that focuses on celebrating our graduating students with the public and industry online rather than in person. Now more than ever we are aware of the importance of our interior environment, so we hope you will be inspired by the work of our talented graduates as they designed interiors that promote welfare and sustainability.

2: Move into May with Athletics and Recreation: For the month of May, VIU’s Mariners Athletics and Recreation is encouraging all students, staff, faculty and their families to engage with them through a number of virtual activities aimed at building community. Follow our social media channels to find engaging pre-recorded workouts; wellness challenges; the “Meals with Mike” cooking series; tips, tricks and vlogs with cool people; re-lived moments from recent National Championships and even an old-fashioned game of HORSE (the basketball game). Keep an eye out for our Mariner athletes as they share their at-home training tips and health regimes. 

3: New Playlist from the VIU President: Dr. Deborah Saucier has a new set of tunes to keep you moving for the month of May, called the May.be Playlist. Check it out on Spotify for more insight into the name.  


Student-specific updates: 

1: E-tutoring available all semester! VIU’s Writing Centre and International Academic Support (IAS) are running a joint schedule from May 4 - August 7 on our usual booking system:  https://vancouver.mywconline.com. If you have any questions, email sylvia.arnold@viu.ca (IAS) or John.Hill@viu.ca (Writing Centre).

2: Volunteer Tutor Service Still Available: Free tutoring is offered to students enrolled in Adult Basic Education (ABE) and first-year University courses through VIU’s Volunteer Tutor Program. Tutors are dedicated and motivated community members who have experience working with students in an academic environment or who are skilled in subject matter related to the ACP programs. To access a tutor please complete a Tutor Request Form here for Nanaimo students or here for Cowichan students. For further information, please contact Kathy.Smith@viu.ca in Nanaimo or Dan.Vaillancourt@viu.ca in Cowichan.

3: 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:  


Employee specific updates:

1: Supports for those working alone: VIU’s Health and Safety Services department has created a webpage with resources for both supervisors and employees on best practices for working alone whether that is at home or in another location. The ‘Tools for Working at Home or in Isolation’ (found near the bottom of the page) has a comprehensive list of things to consider when working alone.

2: MoveSafe Webinar - Working from Home: Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 1 - 2 pm; Zoom details here. This session will provide information on three important areas when working from home:

  • Prepare & Maintain the Body: The human body is designed to move, and we have to look for movement opportunities, in order to remain healthy.  Now that we are working from home, it is even more crucial that we develop strategies for imparting movement into the workday, such as 'active sitting' and micro breaks.  We'll offer several simple office appropriate exercises that can be performed periodically throughout the day.
  • Prepare the Work Area & Equipment: We'll focus on how to adapt available home furnishing to establish a good ergonomic home office set up.
  • Move Safe: We'll discuss the 'Big 3' safe movement principles and how they apply to computer work.  Participants will learn how to sit properly, hold a mouse properly, text without neck strain, etc. Moving the body properly when working can reduce discomfort and potential injury.
  • The session will also be recorded so we can post it on our site so folks can view at their leisure.



Student and Employee reminders:

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 of 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: While our physical bookstores are currently closed, our online store is open for business with new items added to the website each week. The Campus Store is offering free shipping within Canada for course material web orders and a store pick-up option for web orders from Monday to Friday, 11 am to 1 pm. For more information regarding the Campus Store visit https://campus-store.viu.ca/default.asp.

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. 

4: 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. 

5: 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.” 

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: 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. 

2: 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.

3: 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.

4: 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.  

5:  International Students: 


Employee-specific reminders:

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. 

3: 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. 

4: 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.

5: 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

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