VIU rocks back to school

NANAIMO – Students, parents, student ambassadors and VIU staff will participate in Rock VIU: Welcome 2 Campus.


The first day of school is fast approaching, and so is the biggest event that happens at Vancouver Island University all year – Rock VIU: Welcome 2 Campus.

Every year, hundreds of new students from Vancouver Island and around the world get their first experience of a post-secondary institution at VIU, and while it is an exciting time, many have questions about what lies ahead.

On Thursday (Sept. 1), more than 1,200 new students, parents, student ambassadors and VIU staff will participate in Rock VIU: Welcome 2 Campus to get their questions answered, get familiar with the campus and connect with students and faculty.

Throughout the day, a variety of events will help new students get more familiar with the campus, including student experience activities; block parties in various buildings to meet the faculty and participate in activities with peers; a free barbecue lunch; the VIU Connect information fair, where students can learn about the different supports and services available on campus; and live music, free swag and goofy games to help students feel more at home.

New this year is Theyul’shenum Tseep, a welcome event for indigenous students at Shq’apthut: A Gathering Place; and a welcome event for graduate students. The student experience activity will feature student ambassadors sharing some basic tips and answering questions.

Ralph Nilson, VIU president and vice-chancellor, will also host a meet-and-greet for parents interested in learning about the support and services available on campus.

Rock VIU: Welcome 2 Campus is the biggest student orientation event happening on campus this fall, but definitely not the only one. There’s also a games day Sept. 2 in the main cafeteria and a surf and hike weekend organized by Campus Rec taking place Sept. 3- 5 in Tofino.

Storm the Shore (Aug. 31 to Sept. 5) is VIU Residences’ five-day orientation program. From Sept. 13-15, the VIU Students’ Union organizes a 3-day Frosh welcome back event that includes a movie night on Tuesday; an outdoor concert, beer gardens, community vendors, free food and activities on Wednesday; and a free pancake breakfast on Thursday.

For more details about Rock VIU, please visit

Jenn McGarrigle is a writer with VIU’s communications department.