FARGO, N.D. -

Classes started this week at NDSU and MSUM.

We found out how technology is playing a big role in keeping those students safe on campus.

Long gone are the days where the best way to stay safe was to use the buddy system.

Emergency phones have now become a staple on campuses nationwide.

Combined with more visible security staffs, campus crimes have been on the decline.

"I think we do really well.  I think if you look at what are crime stats are ... go back and look at our annual reports ... we have a very close working relationship with the local police department," says Jim Schumann, Director of Public Safety at MSUM.

Campus Security says a key part to creating a safe campus is forming a strong relationship with the student body.

"Each hall on campus has an officer of ours is assigned to that hall.  So they meet with the hall directors and the RAs – the residence assistants – in those halls and they build a relationship," says Bill Vandal, NDSU Police Chief.

In recent years, universities like MSUM and NDSU have relied on more and more advanced technologies to help keep their students safe while on campus.

While MSUM is deciding which smartphone app to use, NDSU is entering its second full year with its security app.

"We talk about our Personal Safety and Security Assist ... that's a smartphone app called Pathlight.  And that app allows us to monitor students remotely from our call center," says Vandal.

The results have led to students feeling more safe on campus.

"I've always felt safe ... on campus ... yeah," says NDSU student Patrick Glynn.

All three local universities use smartphone technology to alert students and faculty of campus–wide emergencies.

Concordia College starts its academic year on September 1.