Health and Safety

Your health and safety are important to us and it is essential you have the information to maintain your wellbeing during your time at VIU. This page has important details regarding our safe walk program, the safety application that provides notifications about any possible campus closures due to weather, and important details about your own personal safety including health insurance.

Threats of Danger to Self and/or Others

Urgent and Immediate Concerns include, but are not limited to:

  • Immediate suicidal statements, such as, "I am going to kill myself"
  • Fights
  • Assault
  • Throwing objects
  • Threats made while the person is physically present
  • Specific detailed threats, such as, "I have a gun and I am coming to campus"
  • Sexually violent behaviours that are in progress or are imminent
  • Property damage or theft in progress
  • Violation of Provincial laws governing the production, use, or sale of alcohol and drugs, including their unauthorized possession or use on campus or, in association with University sponsored activity, off campus.
  • Person refusing to leaving after being told to

Steps to support:

Additional supports:

Island Crisis Society

Distressed Behaviour

Signs and indicators of distressed behaviour include:

  • Suicidal thoughts or expressions like, "Sometimes I don't think it's worth it anymore"
  • Decline in personal hygiene
  • Marked change in person's behaviour
  • Rapid weight loss or gain
  • Loss of interest in school, friends, sports, and favoured activities
  • Bizarre thoughts increased by drug or alcohol use

Steps to support:

  • Speak to the person and tell them why you are concerned
  • Offer to connect the person with student counselling
  • Submit an Early Alert

Additional supports:

Island Crisis Society

Violent Problematic Behaviour

Signs and indicators of violent problematic behaviour include:

  • Written threats that are non-specific, such as, "sometimes I feel like punching you"
  • Violent behaviour that is reported after the fact (the person is no longer present or engaging in the behaviour)

Steps to take:

  • Call RCMP non-emergency number 250-754-2345
  • Call VIU Campus Security at 250-740-6600
  • Notify the Student Conduct Office at

 Sexual Misconduct

Signs and indicators of sexual misconduct include:

  • Sexual misconduct reported after the incident
    • Incidents may include, but are not limited to:
      • Sexual assault
      • Domestic violence
      • Stalking
      • Sexual harassment
      • Indecent exposure
      • Voyeurism

Steps to take:

  • Connect with Equity, Diversity, and Human Rights Office to file a report, discuss options, and find out about supports available on campus. To book a consultation with the Director, send an email to please add your VIU contact details and a brief description of your concern. We are located in building 300, room 100 at the Nanaimo Campus. We can also host meetings via Zoom if you prefer.
  • Connect with a VIU counsellor by calling 250-740-6416

 Non-Violent Problematic Behaviour

Signs and indicators of non-violent problematic behaviour:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Graffiti
  • Repeated uncivil contact (demanding meetings, emailing multiple people several times per day)
  • Vaguely threatening statements, such as, "you'll pay for this," or "you'll be sorry"
  • Fascination with violent topics and/or weapons

Steps to support:

 Contacts and Resources

Campus Safe Walk Program

Safe Walk is a Campus Security program. This will provide escorted walks on the Nanaimo campus. By contacting the dispatcher via the number listed below, you will be accompanied on your walk on campus or to your car by Security. The patrollers are equipped with two-way radios, safety vests and flashlights. Practice the principle of "safety in numbers" and contact the Safe Walk Program (local 6600) for evening walks on campus.

  • 250.740.6600 external phone
  • 6600 VIU internal phone

For Emergencies (serious incidents)

  • In-Canada Fire, Police, Ambulance: 911 
  • VIU Nanaimo Campus Security: 1.250.740.6600  

Tips on Safety

  • Stay in well-lit areas. Walk midpoint between curbs and buildings, try to keep from using alleys or less traveled routes between buildings, and avoid bushes
  • Stay near people and avoid taking short cuts alone through vacant lots and other deserted places
  • Carry only necessary cards and money
  • Walk with someone else whenever possible, and set up a buddy system with your friends
  • Do not jog alone late at night, or walk through the trails alone
  • Use the Safe Walk Program to escort you to or from your vehicle (only on VIU property)
  • Do not wear a personal stereo system or play music so loudly that you are not aware of your surroundings

If you suspect that you are being followed:

  • Be suspicious. Keep looking behind you so the person knows you cannot be surprised
  • Cross the street or change direction
  • Go to a well-lit area, enter a residence or building, go to the library; anywhere there are people and telephones
  • Approach a parking attendant or student patrol and request help
  • Notice and remember as much as possible
  • Report the incident immediately to VIU Security (250.740.6600)

Protect your identity.  Do not give out your address, phone number, date of birth, credit card number or any other personal information to people or websites you don’t know. Do not post photos of your Student ID, Drivers License, certificates or anything else that can be copied.

Protect your location. Digital images have data attached so, remove  the metadata from your photos. Depending on the device used, it could have the date/time/GPS co-ordinates of where it was taken and much more information attached to it.

Protect your reputation. Be careful of what you say on-line.  If your posts/comments cause someone concern or fear, if they are hateful or derogatory, those could follow you for a long time and could form part of a crime.

Be sure you understand what is being told to you on-line. Different cultures,  backgrounds, and language barriers, may compound the issue and lead to either a misunderstanding or the commission of an offense.

Be Cautious. If it is too good to be true it usually is. If you receive an offer of free money, a “get rich quick” scheme, or are asked to send a credit card number to secure a prize, these are attempts to get detailed personal information in order to steal your identity or bank/credit card information. Keep yourself safe!

If  you find you are the victim of a crime, or have an urgent and immediate concern:

  • First - get help immediately - call 911
  • Then - call Campus Security - 250.740.6600 or local 6600
  • Support is also available through Vancouver Island Crisis Line at 1.888.494.3888 (24/7)
  • Finally – Email

If you have a safety concern involving someone at VIU, please fill out the Conduct and Care Submission Form or email the Conduct and Care office at  As a VIU student, you also have access to additional supports such as Counselling and the VIU Student Health Clinic. For Emergency and After-Hours Support, please see: Counselling Emergency and After-Hours Support

Computer Security for On and Off CampusSupport from VIU"s Technology department

One of the easiest ways to find out what’s happening on campus during an emergency or snow closure is through VIU Safety App.   Download the app, be sure to enable push notifications, and if anything is happening on campus relating to safety and health that you need to know about, you will get an automatic notification.