Spenser Smith:

“People who choose to take this stuff can die. The answer is to choose not to take them. It’s a choice.” —R. D. This is a comment on a CBC story written late last year on the overdose crisis in BC. Of the 554 comments the piece received, the one calling for the death of … Continued

The Vault Bazaar

If I could name only one place that really screams “Nanaimo,” that place would be The Vault Café. Before moving to this city, I never thought I would step through the pink walls of what used to be an early twentieth-century bank and emerge into a bohemian paradise. The space is eclectic to say the … Continued

Lost and Found in Translation 

Language is all too often taken for granted here in Canada. It’s easy to grow up in British Columbia and learn English by immersion—just by living in English-speaking communities and going to school. But learning a new language is difficult, daunting, and requires consistent effort.  It’s always impressed me that many of my VIU classmates … Continued

In Plain Sight

“You’re going through withdrawal, it’s from all the alcohol you people drink; you’ll have to wait for your booze.” An Indigenous woman recalls hearing these words yelled at her from across the recovery room after she underwent surgery for a brain aneurysm back in 2018. She was one of many Indigenous people who shared their … Continued

Timeout:

Thousands of VIU students are readying themselves for another semester of online courses, a restricted campus, and necessary isolation from their friends and classmates. People reflecting to me on their post-secondary school experience often remark on the sense of community it brought them; how part of their identity was forged before turning fully to a … Continued

Pandemic Spending

I press the checkout button and a familiar giddiness rushes over me. My laptop pings—it’s an email telling me my purchase has been confirmed and will be shipped shortly. The countdown begins. Among the many aspects of life that the COVID-19 pandemic will change forever, the way we spend our money seems to be one … Continued

Jon Bethell

On resilience: “How a person responds in the face of adversity is based on numerous factors, such as your support system (family and close friends), self-confidence, ability to communicate [feelings], and more.” —Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Jon Bethell and I are sitting across from each other outside a coffee shop in downtown Nanaimo. I sip … Continued

Andrea Čanković

Andrea Čanković has had a wild year. In February 2020 she guided the VIU Mariners women’s volleyball team to provincial gold as co-captain, marking the third straight Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST) title for her and the club. A month later, under the looming threat of cancellation due to COVID-19, Čanković and her teammates celebrated … Continued

The Last Straw

Three years ago, the single-use plastic straw became the poster child for the anti-plastic movement after a video of a sea turtle with a straw stuck in his nose went viral. Plastic pollution became a global concern, and the public uproar pressured people in power to implement changes, and straws were an easy target. One … Continued

Declining Bull Kelp on Our Coast

The West Coast boasts a year-round exploration season of forested trails and rugged shorelines that seem to never end. The dense-growth temperate rainforests are filled with tall trees covered in mosses and forest floors brimming with lush vegetation. The beaches are fiercely traversed by wild winds and beating waves. This is my home. Many West … Continued

Together Alone

The fall semester will soon come to a close as VIU students complete their first full semester of online schooling. Although many students have returned to school, they have not returned to the normalcy of what they expected or what they wanted—they have returned to something many are calling a waste of time, a waste … Continued

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