Sydney Monfries, 22, barely had a pulse when emergency workers discovered her on the second floor of the Keating Hall clock tower at Fordham University.
"There are no words sufficient to describe the loss of someone so young and full of promise - and mere weeks from graduation", the university's president, the Rev. Joseph M. McShane, wrote in an email to staff and students. Monfries somehow fell 30 or 40 feet inside the structure.
However, a university senior told Observer "the doors aren't always locked".
Students say it has become a rite of passage to climb the tower and snap pictures before graduating, according to The Observer.
The accident occurred early in the morning before Fordham's annual Spring Preview event for admitted students.
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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'.
A university student, just weeks away from graduation, died after falling from a campus bell-and-clock tower during what some students claim to be a "rite of passage".
Christopher Rodgers, dean of students at Rose Hill, told The Ram in 2013 that since "the clock tower is rather unsafe, and therefore secured area of campus, students would likely face disciplinary action if they entered it".
"There was a huge spiral staircase going up, and we couldn't even see the top", the student said.
However, another student said they aren't sure.
"It's scary, it's unsafe and I really feel bad for the person", Emma Azizo, a Fordham student, told WABC. She was slated to graduate next month with a major in journalism. "Fordham will confer a bachelor's degree upon Sydney posthumously, which we will present to her parents at the appropriate time", McShane continued.