Fordham student who died in fall to be honored with degree

Sydney Paige Monfries

The New York Times reports Sydney Monfries, a 22-year-old student at Fordham University, plummeted down the inside of a clock and bell tower early Sunday.

Investigators say the student apparently climbed into the tower with friends.

"I heard they were just getting a better view of the city", she said.

However the tower is off-limits to students and should have been locked, though there is now no information on whether the tower was unlocked or if the lock had been tampered with.

Fordham officials said they are still investigating how she gained access to the tower.

The tower is the central part of Keating Hall on the university's Rose Hill campus.

"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.

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"She was with a group of friends ..."

"There was a huge spiral staircase going up, and we couldn't even see the top", the student said. My roommate was with them.

The newspaper said that climbing the stairs of the clock tower, which is supposed to remain locked on campus, is a "rite of passage" for students who try to touch the bell and take pictures before their graduation. While climbing the set of stairs, Monfries was said to have fallen almost 40 feet through an opening in the 83-year-old structure's first landing.

Fire Department sources confirmed that Monfries suffered serious injuries to her head and pelvis. "If he wasn't there, I don't know, she might have been worse off", he said.

Monfries was described as the "sweetest soul" by her friends. Monfries was due to graduate in May.

"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", McShane wrote in the email.

The area she landed in was reportedly so narrow that first responders had to lift her out with a rescue basket while performing chest compressions.

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