Fordham University student dead in bell tower fall
17 April, 2019, 15:43 | Author: Myra Gill
Sydney Paige Monfries, a senior at Rose Hill, passed away on April 14 after falling from the clock and bell tower in Keating Hall.
"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. Her Facebook page shows her with friends in different scenes around New York City: eating ice cream, hanging on a rooftop and at the Pride parade.
Other students described climbing the bell tower as a unsafe rite of passage.
A Fordham spokesperson told INSIDER that the university is investigating how the students gained access to the building and tower.
Police said that they were alerted to the incident, on the campus of Fordham University in the Bronx, at about 3:20 a.m. Sunday.
"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", she said. Her family, who live in Portland, Oregon, have not yet commented on her death.
'She was with a group of friends. "They were like, 'We're seniors, let's go!'" he said. My roommate was with them.
Her uncle Gregory Monfries, said: "This is not a good time".
'She couldn't breath. She hit her head, ' he said.
Monfries fell over 12m from the bell tower's staircase.
In their statement, Fordham University also confirmed that they would be giving Monfries a posthumous degree that will be given to her parents.
"Fordham will confer a bachelor's degree upon Sydney posthumously, which we will present to her parents at the appropriate time".
"There are no words sufficient to describe the loss of someone so young and full of promise - and mere weeks from graduation", Fordham University President Rev. Joseph M. McShane, said in an email to the community.
U.S. media reported emergency services struggled to rescue gravely injured Ms Monfries from the building after they realised it wasn't possible to carry her via stretcher down the staircase.
She was safely returned to the ground after being lifted out of one of the tower's windows and rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital, where she was placed on life support in an "extremely critical" condition.
Reportedly seniors were planning to climb the tower and touch the bell.
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