Recent crime has some areas of University of Missouri campus making security upgrades

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Classes started at the University of Missouri Monday and recent violent crime and two downtown shootings less than a mile from campus have some students worried about safety.

The Greek houses on campus are taking action to increase awareness and security.

Dacie Cowles, the house mom for Tri Delta, told ABC 17 News that residents will have a house meeting to cover safety tips on campus and also downtown.

"We also talk about evenings out at night, you know, walk with a friend," Cowles said. "Don't ever walk by yourself. Don't even take a cab by yourself."

Another house mom said she wanted to supply pepper spray for all of the girls in her house.

She also said they use electric key cards to get in and out of the house and have cameras installed near all entrances.

However, technology is only one part of being safe.

One student said safety starts with being alert and knowing crime exists.

"We all try to deny that it happens, but it definitely happens and when you're not looking, it could," said MU student Katie Finnegan.

Finnegan said she always walks with a friend when she leaves the house.

"We make sure there's two of us together at all times," she said. "There's been a lot going on and it's scary to get those emails."

Safety, though, is not just a concern within the Greek neighborhood.

On Sunday, thousands of freshmen gathered to celebrate the start of their college careers.

One student at the Tiger Walk event said he, too, thought awareness and preparedness is key.

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