Carnegie Mellon University

October 8, 2015

Dear Members of the Carnegie Mellon Community:

We are writing today to share the results of Carnegie Mellon University’s Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Study (SARV), which was administered to all students on our Pittsburgh campus in April 2015. Sexual assault and sexual misconduct are antithetical to the university’s values. As individuals and as a community, we must uphold our commitment to preventing and addressing sexual assault. By illuminating the problem and deepening our understanding of the effects it has on members of our community, this study represents an important step in that ongoing effort.

Many universities have undertaken similar surveys in the last year, including 27 members of the Association of American Universities who have released survey results in the last few weeks. Carnegie Mellon designed and administered its own survey, tailored to the needs of this community. The results we are making public today demonstrate that the incidence of sexual violence at CMU is similar to those on other campuses. The prevalence of this problem throughout higher education and society at large is disturbing; the incidence in our own community is unacceptable, a reality we must confront and work to change. Together we will work to reduce sexual and relationship violence through awareness, education and safety measures. As an institution we will respond to reports of sexual and relationship violence swiftly and effectively.

You can see the results of our study here: The report includes background, notes on measurement, a summary of key findings and detailed findings. This website also has guidance for reporting sexual misconduct, resources for counseling and support, education and training opportunities, and other recent communications on this subject.

A recent campus-wide message outlined steps being taken by the university to further improve our prevention and response efforts. Early findings from this study helped inform those actions and we look forward to community discussions about how this information should further influence our priorities moving forward. We encourage students, faculty and staff to take part in one of several upcoming town hall meetings:

October 19th       4:30 p.m.                 Posner Center Board Room
October 27th       6:00 p.m.                 Posner Center Board Room
October 28th       4:30 p.m.                 Adamson Wing, Baker Hall 136A

Finally, we want to express our sincere gratitude to those students who responded and shared their experiences. Your willingness to participate in this important study has provided vital information to help us move forward in addressing this critical issue.


Subra Suresh, President, Henry L. Hillman President’s Chair
Farnam Jahanian, Provost