Monfries, a journalism student, had been set to graduate in May and was allegedly participating in a rite of passage many Fordham University students undertake prior to graduating when she fell on Sunday morning.
Sydney Paige Monfries, 22, from Portland, Oregon, fell from a bell tower as she attempted to take photos of the NY skyline. Police said the group of seniors wanted to get a view of the city skyline, WABC reported.
The 22-year-old senior was taking part in a 3 a.m. climb when she fell 40-feet and struck her head, the New York Post reported.
"I heard they were just getting a better view of the city", one senior student said. Another student, Anne, told the New York Post: "I think they were posting on Instagram when it happened". The senior, who was critically injured, was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital.
"There are no words sufficient to describe the loss of someone so young and full of promise - and mere weeks from graduation, Fordham will confer a bachelor's degree upon Sydney posthumously, which we will present to her parents at the appropriate time", he wrote.
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Though the trek to the top of the locked tower at Fordham's Rose Hill campus is forbidden, it's become a rite of passage for students who sneak into the off-limits property after dark, as previously described in the school's newspaper.
According to USA media reports, Ms Monfries slipped on her way up the tower's spiral staircase and was found by emergency services at about 3.17am. Bob Howe, assistant vice president for communications, explained that "access to that tower is always locked". "You have to ride the ram", Huang said of a statue of the university's mascot, which students climb on to take pictures.
Other clips on her Snapchat reportedly showed Monfries' friends stumbling through the darkness using their phones as flashlights to see before sitting on the tower's perch. I'll never forget all of our memories back when you lived in NJ and I'll forever cherish them!
On Sunday night, the university released a statement saying, "Our hearts go out to Sydney's parents, and her family and friends". Her uncle Gregory Monfries, said: "This is not a good time".