Fordham senior dies after falling from clock tower weeks from graduation

Fordham University bell tower

A tragedy took place at Fordham University this past weekend, when a 22-year-old student plunged to her death after climbing the University clock tower.

Sydney Paige Monfries, 22, from Portland, Oregon, fell from a bell tower as she attempted to take photos of the NY skyline.

Sydney Paige Monfries, 22, was participating in an early morning climb to the top of the Keating Clock tower on Fordham's Rose Hill campus in the Bronx when she reportedly fell almost 40 feet through an opening in the 83-year-old Gothic structure's first landing, The New York Post reported. According to police, the 22 year old fell through an opening on the first landing tower.

Students told The Post it was a "rite of passage" among seniors to climb the tower, touch the bell and take photos outside one of the windows.

"I heard they were just getting a better view of the city", a senior told the paper.

Monfries reportedly made it up to the top of the tower, The New York Times viewing video she posted from her Snapchat account with the caption "Bell tower".

University bosses are now investigating to find out how the group gained access to the tower.

"There are no words sufficient to describe the loss of someone so young and full of promise - and mere weeks from graduation", Mr McShane wrote in his letter.

Fordham's president said in an email to the university community that Monfries would be awarded a posthumous bachelor's degree.

New York Police Department arrived on the scene and found her lying on the ground with trauma to her head and body.

Some students said seniors break into the tower as a kind of a rite of passage.

Gina Vergel, a university spokeswoman, told The Post that the door to the clock tower is always locked and that only facilities and public safety staff should be able to access it.

Monfries fell over 12m from the bell tower's staircase.

However, another student said they aren't sure. Her uncle Gregory Monfries, said: "This is not a good time".

On Sunday night, the university released a statement saying, "Our hearts go out to Sydney's parents, and her family and friends".

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