As reported by the New York Times, Chase Bank asked millions of Facebook users to "decide what matters" by casting votes for their favorite organizations. Participation comes with a chance to win $25K and a shot at $1 million.
Chase ultimately rigged their own contest in hiding the voting information during the last few days of the contest, and soon after revoked the winnings of several organizations without providing a reason. Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) was one of the organizations that should have won because it appeared that they were in the top 100 of the vote getters.
SSDP competed in Round 1 of the Chase Community Giving Challenge on Facebook (Nov 23 - Dec 11). Despite receiving more than 2,500 votes, which placed us well within the top 100 according to all known vote counts, Chase revoked their winnings without explanation. Chase has refused to release the final vote count to the media or the public.
Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) is a grassroots organization of high school and college students who work to educate the public about the failures of the War on Drugs. They believe that drug abuse is a serious health issue that is only made worse by punishment and discrimination. SSDP promotes education over incarceration.
Now SSDP has struck back asking customers to boycott Chase Bank and cancel their Chase credit cards,close checking and bank accounts. From SSDP "Chase used this "contest" to promote their brand while misleading the public into thinking that it was a democratic voting process. If Chase can't be trusted to treat nonprofits fairly in a charity competition, then they can't be trusted to handle our money."
Students are on the front lines of the war on drugs. Whether it be random, suspicionless students drug testing, or having police dogs sniffing around school lockers for drugs, students are now feeling the heavy-handedness of the government's efforts to keep them "drug-free."
Now it seems that Chase Bank, who by the way had recieved a $25 billion bail out from the government, has joined the heavy-handedness of those against students and denied this group the opportunity to be awarded for their fine work in the field of drug reform policy in the United States. Join the boycott and just say "No" to Chase Bank!
Anthony Papa is the author of 15 to Life and a communications specialist for the Drug Policy Alliance