The usual situation is you or your partner or teammate copies the answer to some exercise off a web page. In a variation, part of a writeup, paper, or programming project is copied without attribution.
We detect most of these acts, as it turns out. Then you get a chance to explain, express regret, deny responsibility or wrongdoing. You can work out a settlement with the professor, which results in an incident report going to the BAH, or you can go appear before the BAH.
In my experience, my recommendation ("sentence") when a student and I agree there has been academic dishonesty corresponds pretty closely to the BAH's. The most common instance is that X copies an answer, so at least X and maybe some of his partners, depending on circumstances, lose credit for the entire assignment. So it's a bit of a hit but it's not fatal.
Unfortunately what usually happens is that X is in pretty severe trouble in the class already, else he wouldn't have been tempted to cheat. He has probably been cutting classes steadily, losing SFS points and thoroughly alienating the professor, and is well on the way to failing anyway. His best course may have been to drop the course but HE CAN'T DROP IF HE GOES TO THE BAH. At this point his only rational alternative is to come to all the classes, sit down front, take notes, see the TAs, get high marks on all the work right through the final.
Last update: 12/05/05