As thousands of students start returning for the fall semester, safety is a concern after an IU student disappeared in June. Missing student Lauren Spierer is on many people’s minds as they are heading back to the college campus, and many students say they are more mindful about staying safe.
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Sullivan is coming to IU from Long Island, NY, not far from Spierer's hometown of Westchester.
"Somewhat of a resemblance: The tiny, the blonde, it definitely makes you a little nervous," said Julie Sullivan, Chelsea’s mother.
Chelsea’s mother believes her daughter is beginning her college career at IU prepared.
"She's pretty smart,” said Julie. “She knows what to do and what not to do. So I’m looking forward. I’m excited for her."
Julie is like many parents Fox59 spoke with who said they realize bad things can happen anywhere, but they feel confident IU is doing what it can to keep students safe.
"I’m pretty comfortable leaving her here,” said Julie. “I think the campus is amazing. I think the school is great, and I think everyone is really on top of everything here."
IU has campus programs and personal safety lectures available to all new students.
“We feel good about what the university is doing in preparing the students," said Mark Schwarts, an IU parent from Atlanta, Ga.
Some students realize personal safety is up to each of them.
"They can tell ya as much as they want stay safe, but it's about doing it,” said Lance Evinger, an IU freshman from Zionsville, Ind.
Spierer’s parents hope new leads will develop in the case as students head back to school. Spierer has been missing since June 3. She was last seen walking back to her apartment after a night partying with friends.
Her parents, Robert and Charlene Spierer, have scheduled a volunteer event to hang new posters on the day before classes begin Monday. The parents asked for volunteers on their website FindLauren.com.
The volunteer event begins at 10 a.m. Sunday in front of the former Copper Cup coffee shop, near the corner of College Avenue and 9th Street.