IT Response Plan

For Social Distancing and Working Remotely


The purpose of this document is to overview VIU IT Support Services that enable social distancing and working remotely for the duration of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Help Desk Support - Students and Employees

The IT help desk counter will be closed until further notice. All requests should be handled via email or phone to ensure adequate social distancing. Please email or phone 1-236-362-1121

We are expecting high volumes and responses will be processed as quickly as possible. If you phone, you may be triaged to email to enable us to process all calls.

NOTE: The help desk phone number has changed. Please call 1-236-362-1121 to reach the IT Helpdesk.

Accessing Email - Employees Only

Email services will remain fully operational. You can use your browser to access VIU email online at or via your mobile device. Please avoid using VPN as it is not required to access email.

Taking Files Home - Students and Employees

You can store files on USB sticks as long as data privacy is not a concern. Examples of files that are probably okay to put on USB sticks: course powerpoint presentations, course assignments.

Please avoid downloading files to thumb drives or local computer drives if data privacy is of a concern.  Furthermore, please remember cloud services such as Dropbox and Google Drive do not meet Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) requirements. Please refer to the privacy officer for more information or guidance.

Employees will need to use VPN to access files that are in department share drives or employee U drives.

VPN Access - Employees Only

Due to current capacity limitations, please only connect to the VPN when using a service that requires VPN and be sure to disconnect from the VPN when you are no longer using that service.

Services that DO require the use of VPN include: files on network shares (U drive, department drives)

Services that DO NOT require the use of VPN include: most VIU resources such as Email, VIU Learn, FRS, Unit 4, SRS, InViu, VIUTube, all websites.

In the event that VIU hits our maximum VPN connections, a schedule will be created and distributed to allow access to all at scheduled intervals.

See: VPN set up instructions.

Once your VPN is set up you will need to map to your share drives and U drives

Please note: VIU IT does not support personal computers.

Please note: in order to help protect VIU assets and data, if you are connecting from a personal computer, ensure your operating system has the latest updates applied and that you are running an updated malware/virus protection application.

Web Services - Students and Employees

All web services will remain fully operational. Support will continue to be through

Desktop/Laptop Support - Employees Only

Limited hardware/software support will be available on VIU managed desktop and laptops. Please email

Equipment Drop Off and Pick Up - Employees Only

To drop off equipment:

  1. Print off ticket number and ensure you bring the charger if you are dropping off a laptop
  2. Drop off at IT (first floor of Building 305, entrance by the loading bay)
  3. Ring doorbell to notify IT of the drop off
  4. Step back to maintain a 6’ distance
  5. Wait for employee to pick up equipment. DO NOT leave equipment unattended

To pick up equipment when notified that your equipment is ready to pick up:

  1. Know your ticket number and ensure you have your employee ID. You will not be able to pick up equipment without your employee ID.
  2. Pick up at IT (first floor of Building 305, entrance by the loading bay)
  3. Ring doorbell to notify IT
  4. Step back to maintain a 6’ distance
  5. Provide your ticket number to employee who will get your equipment for you

Loaner Laptops - Employees Only

Inform your manager of your need for a loaner laptop. They will work with the Loaner Laptop Coordinator to assign laptops if they are available.

Voicemail - Employees Only

Voicemail is available from off campus. Please refer to the instructions on accessing VIU voicemail.

Shipping Receiving of IT Equipment - Employees Only

The ability to receive shipped orders will be limited for the foreseeable future. New orders will be processed as per purchasing processes but delays in delivery should be expected.

Administrative Systems - Students and Employees

All administrative systems, such as My Student Record, SRS, and FRS, will remain available via web access. Support will remain available by contacting Please note VPN access is not required to access administrative systems.

Privacy Reminder: Due to privacy concerns, please do not export data to personal computers.

Core Infrastructure

Only critical core infrastructure hardware will be supported during until further notice. Building or room specific will be attended to once social distancing restrictions are lifted.

Office Moves

No offices moves will be processed until further notice.

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