Fordham senior dies after falling from clock tower weeks from graduation

Nellie Chapman
April 15, 2019

A United States university student has died after she fell more than 12 metres from a campus bell tower in the early hours of Sunday morning.

It is reportedly common for students at the university to climb the Keating Hall clock tower, touch the bell and take photos of the NY city skyline from outside one of its windows before they graduate.

The circumstances of her fall were not immediately available, police said. The senior, who was critically injured, was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital.

University bosses are now investigating to find out how the group gained access to the tower. "I don't think they went up there with the intent thinking that it would be possible to fall".

'He told me some seniors [wanted to go] to the tower to take some pictures and have a good time before graduating, ' he said.

School officials said Keating Hall and the door to its clock tower are always locked and only accessible by authorized staff members, and this was the first time anyone had fallen from the structure.

Access to the tower is restricted, a university spokeswoman told the Times. "If he wasn't there, I don't know, she might have been worse off", he said.

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After climbing the narrow staircase inside the tower, Monfries uploaded a video of the view to Snapchat, captioning it: 'Bell Tower, ' according to The New York Times.

"You have to ride the ram", she said of a statue on campus, adding that students also "have to go into the tunnels underground and you have to go into the bell tower".

Sydney was studying journalism and interned at InStyle magazine - being set to graduate in May.

"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.

Her death was announced to students in an email sent by the school, which described the "unimaginable loss" suffered by Ms Monfries' family, friends and school community.

The university said they will confer a bachelor's degree upon Sydney posthumously.

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