Academic dishonesty isn't a victimless act. It affects not only the people immediately involved, but also the entire academic community. Students who commit academic dishonesty damage the reputation of the academic institution in addition to their own reputations and possibly the reputations of their friends.
Acts of academic dishonesty are acts which violate the University's Code of Conduct. These include (but are not limited to) plagiarism, cheating, and copyright violations.
There is a University policy known as G-9 which provides direction for responding to academic integrity violations of the University's Code of Conduct. In addition, each college and campus has designed specific guidelines for responding to allegations and have the authority to impose sanctions on students who violate the academic integrity policy. The outcome of all academic integrity cases is sent to the Office of Student Conduct for record-keeping. All sanctions are recorded in the student's file. A student who has a history of academic integrity violations may receive more severe sanctions as a result of repeated misconduct.
Students often rationalize academic dishonesty with a wide array of excuses - none of which are valid justification for being dishonest. Taking time while you are at Penn State to develop your personal philosophy of integrity will be time well spent.