It used to be that the biggest worry for parents when their children went off to college was the "Freshman 15", but now some of the bigger concerns include depression, alcohol abuse and sexual violence. It's something that freshman roommates Sidney Henson and Zoe Seemes have heard about from their parents.
"You know I've heard this is a really safe campus," Henson said. "But just to be safe I got the pepper spray."
"I would be nervous to walk around at night by myself or something," Seemes said."Even though this is a safe campus it is kind of scary."
It is the first few weeks of the school year that are considered the most dangerous. But Donna St. Sauver knows that violence of all types is a year round threat.
"Violence has no boundaries, it's found in all populations," St. Sauver said. "We do take a proactive stance. We know that there will be violence."
They also look for this proactive approach when it comes to suicide, another growing concern for new students.
"We screen our students for things like depression so that before there is a crisis we can connect them to resources," St. Sauver said.
South East Missouri State's counseling and disability services meets with parents and shares crime statistics along with information on keeping their children safe. But, leaders at SEMO also hope these students take responsibility for each other.
"We also expect our students create and maintain that environment," St. Sauver said. "We expect a lot out of our red hawks."