A Fordham University senior, just weeks away from graduation, died after climbing the school’s clock tower and falling nearly 30 feet inside the structure Sunday.
Sydney Monfries, 22, fell inside the Keating Clock tower, according to a statement from Fordham President Joseph M. McShane.
Emergency officials found Monfries on the second floor of the tower with trauma to her body and head, ABC 7 reported. Monfries was with a group of seniors. Some students said climbing the tower is a campus tradition, while others said some climb for the view.
University officials are looking into how the students gained access to the tower as the door was supposed to be locked. Keating Hall was locked before the students gained entry to the tower, Fordham’s Senior Director of Communications Gina Vergel told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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“It’s like a tradition, apparently, for seniors to sneak into the tower and climb up,” student Antonia Greene said, CBS reported. (RELATED: Stranger Allegedly Throws 5-Year-Old Over Third-Floor Balcony At Mall Of America)
“I’m not sure if it’s a tradition,” junior Linda Yenicag said, according to CBS. “If it is, it’s kind of stupid.”
One student, who remained anonymous out of concern of repercussion, reportedly climbed the tower, The Fordham Ram reported in March 2013.
“There was a huge spiral staircase going up, and we couldn’t even see the top,” the student said. “Once the door closed behind us, it was pitch black. Halfway up the staircase, there was actually a dark room with only a chair in it, so that was pretty scary.”
University officials have occasionally given tours of the tower to students to “satisfy students’ curiosity” and prevent them from sneaking in. There have been no other reported falls from the tower, Vergel added.
“Fordham will confer a bachelor’s degree upon Sydney posthumously, which we will present to her parents at the appropriate time,” McShane wrote.
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