Where there are students there is cheating. All polls indicate that it widespread among college students. Even as a professor, though, I recognize that some forms of cheating are worse than others. I expect there are some things that others might view as cheating that I accept, such as working on homework together. I expect that students see some forms as less severe than others also, and that they may use situational ethics in some cases to justify what they are doing. Hey, I was a student myself, once! I also know that in some situations, mainly when it comes to citing sources, students may not understand that what they are doing constitutes plagiarism.
It must have been hard for Nathan (the student) to see cheating going on around her and not reporting it. Before she undertook her project she gave "formal notice to the university the [she]would 'relinquish [her] role as an officer of the university'" making clear that she would not report any violations of "university policy or public law."