A Fordham University student who died trying to get a photograph for social media posted a final video on
Sydney Monfries, 22, died on Sunday after breaking into the Bell Tower at the university’s campus in New York City with a group of friends in the early hours of the morning.
The journalism student and her friends had just had dinner at a barbecue restaurant and decided to climb the tower as a ‘rite of passage’ before graduating next month, according to staff there.
After climbing the narrow staircase inside the tower, Monfries uploaded a video of the view to Snapchat, captioning it: ‘Bell Tower,’ according to
Sydney Monfries, 22, died on Sunday after breaking into the Bell Tower at the university’s campus with a group of friends in the early hours of the morning. She is shown in a photograph uploaded to her Instagram page last week
Monfries fell inside the tower (shown) through a gap in the landing. The tower is off limits to students but, recently, seniors have been breaking in to ‘drink and take photographs’
Friends previously said she was eager to get a good picture of the city skyline to post on her Instagram page.
It is not clear how exactly she lost her footing but she fell through an opening in a landing.
The fall knocked her unconscious and when paramedics arrived, they struggled to her out because the staircase was too narrow for them to maneuver the stretcher she was on.
Eventually, she was airlifted out through a window then lowered to the ground to be taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
It is unclear how many students were with her at the time or how she fell.
A waiter at the restaurant where they had dinner beforehand told The New York Post that he did not know if they had been drinking.
‘They were like, “We’re seniors, let’s go!”.
‘She was with a group of friends. My roommate was with them.
‘He told me some seniors [wanted to go] to the tower to take some pictures and have a good time before graduating,’ he said.
Sydney and her friends had climbed the tower to take photographs for social media, according to their friends. The 22-year-old was about to graduate as a journalism student
The waiter said that after she fell, his roommate rushed to be by her side.
‘She couldn’t breath. She hit her head,’ he said.
Other students described climbing the bell tower as a dangerous rite of passage.
‘It’s like a senior thing to go on the most popular building on campus.
‘Recently people heard the door was open or found a passageway. They usually go late at night at around 1 or 2am to drink and see the view,’ Priscilla Morales told The New York Times.
Monfries was an intern at InStyle magazine. Her family, who live in Portland, Oregon, have not yet commented on her death.
Shortly before she died, Sydney uploaded a video to Snapchat from inside the bell tower. She is shown in an Instagram picture perching on the edge of a building in Chicago
The school confirmed it on Sunday, saying in a statement: ‘The university community mourns the loss of Sydney Monfries, a senior at Fordham College at Rose Hill, who died Sunday evening after sustaining a fall inside the Keating Clock tower.’
It is providing counselling to students who need it.
On social media, friends paid tribute to Monfries as a ‘sweet soul’.
Anna Newell paid tribute to her friend on Instagram, writing: ‘ You were all so kind and good hearted. You were so smart, pretty and kind just like your momma. Thank you for being an amazing person, I will always remember you. RIP.’
Shristina Harrigan added: ‘Rest in sweetest peace Sydney. I’ll never forget all of our memories back when you lived in NJ and I’ll forever cherish them! Rest easy sweet girl.’
AJ Newell described Monfries as ‘the sweetest soul I have ever met’.
Monfries was described as the ‘sweetest soul’ by her friends. No one else was injured