Accessing Services and Supports

To ensure the safety and well-being of students, employees and community members, VIU is delivering services in ways that meet federal and provincial guidelines. Learn more by going to our COVID-19 Health and Safety Planning webpage. Here’s how to access campus amenities and supports:


Buildings on VIU’s Nanaimo campus:

Many of the buildings at VIU’s Nanaimo campus are locked and accessible to students and employees with card/fob access. This is to increase the safety and security of those still accessing our lower-traffic campus. To get access to common spaces such as Building 305 (the Library), you will need your VIU ID card. Don’t have one yet? No problem! 

How to get card access to VIU buildings: 

Students can follow this step-by-step process to get their VIU Student Card

Employees can email a selfie to Find where you can pick up your card.

Essential Learning and Activity Spaces at the Nanaimo Campus

Students in the Nanaimo area can now access a few spaces on campus to study. The Library Commons is open 24/7, and the Upper Cafeteria space is also available between 8 am - 5 pm. All spaces have been set up to support physical distancing protocols and safety. Students need their VIU ID card to access these spaces. Get your VIU ID Card.

Counselling Services

We know that this situation is causing a lot of stress for both, which is why it’s important we continue to support each other. If you are struggling, please reach out to the counselling supports listed below. Also please check out this page on maintaining well-being during COVID-19.

Distance counselling for VIU students is available through VIU Counselling Services from Monday to Friday, 8:30 am - 4 pm. To book an appointment:

Domestic students: Call 250.740.6416, leave a voice message with your name, student number and email, and you will be contacted by Counselling Services to set up an appointment. 

International students: Please email (this email is monitored Monday to Friday from 8:30 am - 4 pm). Indicate your name and student number only (the auto-reply from the email will indicate next steps). You will be contacted by International Counselling Services to set up an appointment.

Cowichan students: Please email if you would like an Educational Advisor/Counsellor to contact you by email, phone or Zoom meeting. Please provide your full name, phone number, student number (if applicable), best times to reach you during our regularly scheduled work week and your preferred way for us to contact you. Educational Advisor/Counsellors will be available Monday to Friday from 8:30 am - 3:30 pm. 

Please ensure your phone number and email match your student record. If this information does not match, please update your student record. If you are experiencing a crisis, you can reach out to the Vancouver Island Crisis Line via phone at 1‑888-494-3888 (24/7), text or chat at 250-800-3806 (6 - 10 pm); Kuu-us Crisis Line (24/7); and YouthInBC online chat (noon to 1 am).


Educational Advisors are supporting students by telephone, email, and by one on one drop in appointments through Zoom. Learn more on the VIU Advising website.


VIU Students' Union

The VIU Students' Union office (Bldg 193) has opened to allow students to buy and to sell used textbooks and purchase monthly or by-semester bus passes. Current hours of operation are Tuesday to Thursday from 10 am - 4 pm. For quickest service and to limit contact, students are encouraged to purchase textbooks and passes online in advance at ShopVIUSU. Meetings with students’ union staff will continue to be scheduled by phone or on Zoom - to connect with staff email  For all of the most up-to-date information please visit the VIU Student Union website.

Athletics & Recreation

Mariners Athletics & Recreation is welcoming students and employees back this fall with a return to limited access to facilities and programs, including the gym facility, intramurals, outdoor recreation and varsity athletics. Learn more about VIU Athletics and Recreation

VIU Student Health Clinic (Building 200)

The Clinic on VIU’s Nanaimo Campus is open on an appointment basis only for current patients on Tuesdays. Current patients can leave a clear voicemail message with your name, student number and phone number at 250-740-6620 or email to book a telephone appointment with a nurse. Learn more about the VIU Student Health Clinic.


Library Services

The Library Commons is open 24/7 via card access, with a maximum of 50 people in the area at once. 

Fall Library Services
VIU Library is ready to welcome you back to school. Check out our new Library website for hours and updates on all the supports we have available:

To make using library resources even easier when you are off campus, you can now log in to library databases using your VIU computer account credentials. 

Free Tutoring for VIU Students

The Volunteer Tutor Program offers free tutoring services to VIU students in Adult Basic Education courses and many first year university courses. Learn more

Food Services on the Nanaimo Campus

Food services in the Upper & Lower Cafeterias have been suspended until further notice. Starting in late August, a convenience store with a wide variety of pre-packaged and grab and go food items will be open inside the Campus Store in Building 305 (the Library). Store hours will be Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, starting Tuesday, September 8.

The Upper Cafeteria common area remains open for use by students and employees, with seating limited to 50 people.


Student Affairs

Student Affairs is supporting students while engaging in social distancing whenever possible. See Student Affairs on how to access services.


International Student Services

International Student Services remains open and is pleased to provide remote service delivery. Please visit International Student Services for more information about Zoom drop-in hours and appointments. International Academic Support (IAS) has moved to an e-tutoring model. If you have any questions, email


Campus Security

Campus Security is still providing first aid at the Nanaimo Campus, Cowichan Campus and VIU Residences. Call 250-740-6600 to reach the Security Office 24/7.


The Welcome Centre

Got a question and not sure where to direct it? Start with the friendly staff in our Welcome Centre! The Welcome Centre is available by phone (250-753-3245) and by email at


VIU Writing Centre

This fall at VIU’s Writing Centre, all appointments will be through e-tutoring. If you have any questions,  please contact


IT Services

Do you have questions about using technology on campus, off campus, or for course delivery? The IT Service Desk here to help you!

  • Email:
  • Phone: 1-250-740-6300 (Local 6300)
  • Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 am - 4:30 pm (Pacific)

NOTE: The service desk is receiving high volumes of requests and responses will be processed as quickly as possible. Please phone for urgent requests. The IT Service Desk counter will be closed until further notice. All requests should be handled via email or phone to ensure adequate social distancing.

Are you a new student coming to VIU? Follow the easy steps outlined in the Student Technology Guide to prepare you and your computer for campus technology. Create your computer account, update your email address, connect to the university wireless network, and more.


The Campus Store

The Campus Stores in Nanaimo and Cowichan are closed to the public until further notice, but online ordering remains available for both shipping and delivery. Visit the Campus Store to place your order.


Print Services

The VIU Print Shop remains open and operating as usual at this time, but staff are asking that orders be placed online or by email only. Learn more about Print Services.


Buildings closed on the Nanaimo campus until further notice:

  • The Lower Cafeteria (Building 185)
  • VIU Starbucks
  • The View Gallery
  • The Malaspina Theatre
  • Shq’apthut – VIU’s Aboriginal Gathering Place


Other campuses/facilities:

Cowichan Campus

Students wishing to access the learning commons at the Cowichan Campus can swipe their ID cards at the readers by the doors Monday to Thursday 7 am to 9 pm, Fridays from 7 am to 7 pm and Saturdays from 9 am to 5 pm. From Monday to Friday, the campus will be unlocked from 9 am to 2 pm. On Sundays the doors are locked. Get your ID card.

Please see Campus Hours for departmental contact info and how to reach different services.

Staff are answering phones between 8 am and 4 pm Monday to Friday, and are responding to help queries by email, phone and real-time chat and videoconferencing where appropriate. Visit the Library Information page for details.


Parksville/Qualicum Centre

The Parksville-Qualicum Centre remains open via remote services (email and phone). This is due to the restricted access to the Parksville Civic and Technology Centre (PCTC) where the centre is located in. To contact the Parksville campus, email or phone 250-248-2096.

Powell River Campus

The Powell River campus has reduced opening hours to 10 am – 3 pm. The front office is now closed to the public and any inquiries can be sent to the general email Emails will be responded to by the campus’s front office or student services staff either on campus or from home. Educational Advising and Counselling calls/enquiries/appointments will be managed through video or telephone.


Other Facilities

VIU's Milner Gardens & Woodland is open. Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 11 am - 5 pm each week until the end of the season (COVID-19 permitting.)

G.R. Paine Horticultural Centre and Deep Bay Marine Field Station are closed to the public until further notice.