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.
This is so sad :'( saying my prayers for family n friends https://t.co/yS1wOjriYT
— ✧$kinnyMilly✧ (@skinnymilly1) April 15, 2019
Truly devastating news. Prayers for Syndey’s family during what should have been the happiest days of her life. And love to her Fordham family, who will forever remember. Take care of each other #fordhamuniversity ???? https://t.co/gBcfb2boyE
— Tara Sanders (@TaraKSanders) April 15, 2019
Oh goodness. Just before graduation.. Prayers and positive vibes for her family and friends. https://t.co/1zNBwgc6IS
— Deidra Marie Yost (@DeeJane7) April 15, 2019
Flowers and palms on the steps of #Keating Hall at #Fordham University, after 22-year-old senior Sydney Monfries fell to her death from Keating’s clock tower yesterday morning ???? @PIX11News pic.twitter.com/fXKwZsKVB0
— Katie Corrado (@KatieCorradoTV) April 15, 2019
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.
According to The Observer article"the doors aren’t always locked. They’re unlocked at night when they’re cleaning. They are always doing some kind of cleaning or renovation.” Y'all need to keep doors locked at all times! https://t.co/pdLpjGJ8bb https://t.co/D71ay94abw
— Steve Castro (@PoetryEngineer) April 15, 2019
How many years spend in college? Learned what? The “students wanted a view of the city skyline” as if there were no other lawful vantage points from which to view it. Tragically their sense of immortality (which you expect from adolescents) cost her her life. Her poor family… https://t.co/Nt7vuZVDod
— ⚖️ #ProtectMueller ⚖️ #TrumpRussia ???????? (@DestiGrace1) April 15, 2019
Always been low-key a fear of mine to die suddenly days away from finishing all this hard work setting up my future and not getting to reap any rewards. This kind of stuff happens often and it always reminds me of that fear https://t.co/tR5KUbh0lo
— BreathingBad (@BreathingBad) April 16, 2019
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.”
Sad times for my Alma Mater https://t.co/KPNX3Gb19e
— Mike Hayes (@godgoogler) April 16, 2019
I will never get use to seeing youth dying especially like this. Tomorrow will never be a promise. RIP Young soul ???? https://t.co/B5DznciVdo
— TINTIN ???? (@Tistale_L) April 16, 2019
Stories like this make the parent in me shudder to my core.
Nothing good happens after midnight kids. Go to bed. https://t.co/TNuG9AhbIs
— Lynette Craig (@Nothercupacafe) April 16, 2019
Monfries was set to graduate next month. They are awarding her a posthumous bachelor’s degree to be presented to her family.