Fordham University Senior Falls To Her Death Weeks Before Graduation After Attempting To Climb Iconic Clock Tower

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A college tradition has ended in tragedy at Fordham University. Sydney Monfries, a 22-year-old student at the school, died on Sunday.

Monfries was with a group of friends sneaking into the school’s iconic clock tower. Around 3 a.m., police found her unconscious in the tower, with injuries to her body and head.

She was rushed to the hospital, but doctors were unable to save her. She died Sunday evening.

People are keeping Sydney, her family, and her friends in their thoughts.

Monfries was a senior at Fordham, with an internship at InStyle Magazine. After she graduated with her degree in journalism, she planned to look for work in New York City.

According to the university, Monfries and her friends climbed the clock tower to get a view of the city skyline. She had shared a video to Snapchat with the caption “Bell tower,” according to the New York Times.

In the video, you can hear the students making their way through the tower, and then use their phones to record the Bronx skyline.

The tower is off limits to students, according to the university, but some see that as part of the challenge. According to some of the students, it has become a rite of passage to find a way to sneak to the top of the tower before graduating.

The university is investigating how Monfries and the other students gained access to the tower. The door is supposed to be locked, but some students say it’s left open when the cleaning crew is in the building.

The 83-year-old building is one of the most recognizable. Built in the 1930s, its design has made it iconic, used in films such as The Exorcist and A Beautiful Mind.

Despite being called a bell tower, there is no bell in the tower. The bell sounds come from a recording.

In the past, the school has given tours to try and satisfy curiosity about the tower and prevent this exact scenario.

Emma Azizo, a student at the university, told WABC,

“It’s scary, it’s dangerous and I really feel bad for the person. I don’t think they went up there with the intent thinking that it would be possible to fall.”

Monfries was set to graduate next month. They are awarding her a posthumous bachelor’s degree to be presented to her family.


Ben Acosta

Written by Ben Acosta

Ben Acosta is an Arizona-based fiction author and freelance writer. In his free time, he critiques media and acts in local stage productions.