Fordham student dies after fall from campus clock tower

Cheryl Sanders
April 17, 2019

She suffered fatal injuries in the horror plunge at Fordham University campus in NY, weeks before graduation.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends, family, and various loved ones of Sydney Paige Monfries during this extremely hard and trying time. "Ms. Monfries had posted a video from the top of the tower on Snapchat with the caption "Bell tower" early Sunday, according to video shared with The New York Times".

She was rushed to hospital - being described in an "extremely critical condition" - where she died.

Fordham students who were not involved in the incident that took place on April 14th corroborated the sentiment that the climb up the bell tower is a rite of passage for seniors, albeit a risky one. Unconscious when the paramedics arrived, time was lost as they struggled to get Monfries out of the narrow tower staircase while on a stretcher.

The university is now investigating how the students gained access to the tower. "But right now they're just trying to process this tremendous loss" while being "very appreciate of all the family and friends who've come around to support them", the friend said.

"I think a large part of the reason people want to [climb the tower] so badly is that the school doesn't allow it", Patrick Burke, Fordham University Class of 2014, told The Fordham Ram, another of the school's student newspapers, in 2013.

'They were like, "We're seniors, let's go!".

Police said that Monfries and her friends were climbing stairs inside the tower when she fell through an opening on one of the landings. My roommate was with them.

Founded in 1841, Fordham University is a Jesuit university in the Bronx with 9,600 undergraduates and 6,500 graduate students, according to its website.

Fire Department sources confirmed that Monfries suffered serious injuries to her head and pelvis.

Monfries was scheduled to graduate from Fordham University in May.

"Fordham will confer a bachelor's degree upon Sydney posthumously, which we will present to her parents at the appropriate time", McShane said.

"There are no words sufficient to describe the loss of someone so young and full of promise - and mere weeks from graduation".

"Our hearts go out to Sydney's parents, and her family and friends".

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