College student falls to her death from campus clock tower just weeks before graduation

A student at Fordham University in New York died Sunday just a few hours after falling three stories from the campus clock tower, according to news reports.

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Senior Sydney Monfries, 22, was getting ready to graduate in a few weeks when she and other students decided to sneak up to the top of the bell tower at Keating Hall at the university's Bronx campus early Sunday morning, The New York Times reported.

Monfries somehow fell through an opening in a landing and plunged 30 feet down the inside of the tower. She was critically hurt, with injuries to her head and body, police said.

She was rushed to a nearby hospital but died several hours later.

Although Keating Hall is locked and closed at night and access to the tower is restricted at all times, students still manage to find a way in to climb to the top of the Gothic tower to see the skyline, school administrators said. Students told the Times that climbing the tower is a "storied rite of passage."

The building is 83 years old and houses administrative offices and classrooms. Its distinctive Gothic-style architecture is one of the features of the Jesuit university.

Monfries was from Portland, Oregon, and was studying journalism. School officials said they plan on awarding her a posthumous bachelor’s degree.

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