Sydney Monfries' death after fall from Fordham clock tower under investigation

Posted April 16, 2019

A student who was injured when she fell from the Fordham University bell tower has died.

The New York Times reports Sydney Monfries, a 22-year-old student at Fordham University, plummeted down the inside of a clock and bell tower early Sunday. "And they were like trying to get good views of the city", student Antonia Greene said.

Fordham’s school president Joseph Mc Shane confirmed the tragic news in a letter to students
Camera IconFordham’s school president Joseph Mc Shane confirmed the tragic news in a letter

In 2013, a school official told the Fordham Ram that the tower was "rather dangerous" and therefore "off limits" to students.

"I heard they were just getting a better view of the city", one senior student said. "I don't think they went up there with the intent thinking that it would be possible to fall". The university neither confirmed nor denied the supposed rite, and is investigating how the students gained access to the tower, which an official says is normally locked. She was pronounced dead in St. Barnabas Hospital on Sunday evening. "There are no words sufficient to describe the loss of someone so young and full of promise - and mere weeks from graduation, Fordham will confer a bachelor's degree upon Sydney posthumously, which we will present to her parents at the appropriate time".

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According to U.S. media reports, Ms Monfries slipped on her way up the tower's spiral staircase and was found by emergency services at about 3.17am.

School spokesman Bob Howe told the New York Post the tower was "always locked" and that the organisation was looking into whether the lock had been tampered with. During the event, seniors climb the tower, touch the bell and take photo outside one of the top windows.

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However, Anne said the Keating Hall clock tower was regularly left open at night.

Other clips on her Snapchat reportedly showed Monfries' friends stumbling through the darkness using their phones as flashlights to see before sitting on the tower's perch. Some students said the incident happened during a senior student tradition.

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Monfries, of Portland, Ore., was set to graduate in May with a degree in journalism. "Our hearts go out to Sydney's parents, her family and friends - theirs is an unimaginable loss, and we share their grief".