What is the Sexual Conduct Survey?

A survey for Harvard degree-seeking students designed to measure the campus climate regarding sexual harassment and sexual assault.

The Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Assault established by President Faust last year recommended that a campus survey be designed to help the community better understand the incidence of sexual harassment and sexual assault on campus. Many other colleges and universities outlined similar goals. Harvard chose to join 26 other institutions in collaborating with the Association of American Universities (AAU) to conduct a common survey this spring. The data collected will provide information not only about the climate and experiences on Harvard’s campus, but also the environment at many other institutions. With faculty and staff from many of these other institutions, members of the Harvard community helped to design, develop, and test the survey instrument. To ensure confidentiality and protect response information, an independent research firm—Westat—was contracted to administer the survey.

All institutions involved in this national effort may not use the same name for the instrument. At Harvard, we are calling it the Sexual Conduct Survey. If you have friends at other participating institutions, they may refer to it in other ways. However, the emails you will receive from Westat will refer to the survey as the Campus Climate Survey. Harvard’s Sexual Conduct Survey is nearly identical to those administered on other campuses, with just a few examples and questions unique to Harvard.