VIU Students' Union Supporting Students in Time of Crisis

The newly launched fund for Emergency Student Bursaries, a partnership between the VIU Students' Union and the VIU Foundation, will support the University’s most vulnerable students.

March 24, 2020 - 3:00pm

Emergency bursaries support most vulnerable students affected by COVID-19.

While they may not be attending face-to-face classes, students at Vancouver Island University (VIU) are still working hard to complete their education. However, during this unprecedented situation, students are also dealing with the very real consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, including reduced hours or no employment, finding daycare, and keeping themselves and their families safe and healthy with limited resources.

In light of the great need during this time of crisis, the VIU Students’ Union (VIUSU) has made a leadership gift of $75,000, which has been matched by the VIU Foundation, to help establish a $250,000 fund for Emergency Student Bursaries. Anouk Borris, VIUSU chairperson, is hoping community members will join the students’ union in donating if they are able to.

“On top of the emotional impacts of this crisis, we know our most vulnerable students are struggling with some serious financial issues, including reduced or non-existent job opportunities, which many relied on to make rent or put food on the table. We want to be there for them in their time of need,” says Borris. “While it’s uncertain times for everyone, we hope that our gift will encourage others in the community to join us in supporting students. We would like to thank the VIU Foundation for the matched donation, and their ongoing work to support students.

A gift to the Emergency Bursary Fund will help students cover the basic necessities for living so they can continue with their studies. The fund can be accessed by both domestic and international students. To make it easier for donors, VIU has launched a new crowdfunding platform called AIM Together (Access. Innovate. Matter. Together). For more information, or to make a gift please visit the Emergency Bursaries Fundraising webpage or email foundation@viu.ca.

“This is a stressful time for everyone as we all struggle to come to grips with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic; unfortunately many of our students have the added burden of dealing with unbudgeted housing, healthcare and daycare costs,” says William Litchfield, Executive Director of the VIU Foundation. “Many of their regular employment options are cutting hours or laying them off. We understand this is a difficult time for all, but unfortunately more difficult for some. We would like those who have the ability to help to consider making a gift to support those struggling in our community.”

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Jenn McGarrigle, External Communications Advisor, Vancouver Island University

C: 250.619.6860 | E: Jenn.McGarrigle@viu.ca | T: @VIUNews

SIDEBAR: Accessing Funds

Students who are experiencing immediate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 situation can email financialaidinfo@viu.ca with a request to access emergency bursary funds. 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.


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