2003-2004 ASUCD Senator James Ackerman was the subject of one of the biggest scandals in recent history at UCD. After being arrested for stealing over $300 worth of books from the UC Davis Bookstore, paying the resulting fines and completing community service, he continued to serve as a senator while the public was unaware of the incident. The following is a rough timeline of the events:

  • Fall 2003 James Ackerman is elected to ASUCD Senate by 272 votes
  • January 2004 Ackerman attempts to steal $356.76 worth of books from the UCD Bookstore using old receipts and a plastic bag. He is caught and is forced to pay a $300 fine to the bookstore, referred to Student Judicial Affairs and ordered to serve 30 hours of community service while awaiting his day in county court. Ackerman continues to serve as a senator.
  • May 14, 2004 The California Aggie breaks the story in an article about the security measures in place at the Bookstore.
  • May 20, 2004 Numerous students, although no senators, call on Ackerman to resign during the Senate meeting. Among them is Ryan Basilio, who threatens a Recall petition the following Monday. James Ackerman issues a formal apology at the Thursday night ASUCD Senate meeting. Ackerman is supported by what seems like a majority of the Senate. In addition, Senator Chris Goren says that if Ackerman were to resign, Goren would do the same.
  • May 24, 2004 A petition to recall Ackerman is started by Judson Wickham. Although the petition is submitted, the ASUCD says that it cannot be approved until the internal affairs commission sees the text next week on May 31st. The petition would need at least 1/4 of registered student signatures and, if successful, would lead to a recall election. A meeting is scheduled between students and Ackerman to discuss the charges. He is profusely apologetic. An online petition is started as well by Dan Fisher, although it would be only symbolic since the signatures could not be used to recall Ackerman. Leaflets bearing a picture of Ackerman are posted around campus with the slogan: "ASUCD Senator James Ackerman: Stealing hearts, books since 2004":

  • May 25, 2004 An apology written by James Ackerman is published in The California Aggie, alongside five other letters to the editor condemning the actions of Ackerman and ASUCD Senate, several calling for his resignation. Senator Adam Barr formally asks James Ackerman to resign, citing the prevailing opinion of the student body.
  • May 27, 2004 Several more pieces, both in support of Ackerman and against him, are published in The California Aggie. However, James Ackerman resigns at the Thursday night ASUCD Senate meeting. Senator Chris Goren, however, does not follow through on his earlier promise to do the same.

Interestingly enough, UCLA's primary student union is named the Ackerman Student Union.