Who Is Sydney Monfries?

A tragedy like no other.

Who Is Sydney Monfries? Instagram

When I think back to when I graduated from college I can still feel all of those emotions: the sheer joy to have accomplished something that seemed so big, the excitement to move on to the next chapter in my life, and my sadness at being taken away from a place I viewed as my home and the people I had come to view as being my family. When you're a graduating senior, you want to do anything to hold onto those moments forever.


That's exactly what Sydney Monfries was trying to do when she set out to have an epic night with her fellow graduating seniors of Fordham University. Sadly, however, the night ended very differently than the way it began. Now, her friends are family are in horrified shock, and the world is left wondering, how could this happen to Sydney Monfries? 

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1. How She Died 

Sydney Monfries was just 22-years-old. Set to graduate from Fordham University in the Bronx, NY, senior Monfries was eager to tackle the new and exciting future that was laid out in front of her. Tragically, one late-night with friends put a stop to all her hopes and dreams about the future in the worst way imaginable. Now, her friends are left bereft and her family is the grips of tangling with a kind of grief that is beyond the scope of many.


An intern at InStyle magazine, Monfries, and her friends were celebrating the last of their days as students at Fordham. Monfries and her friends decided to celebrate this huge transition in their lives by climbing the campus belltower and taking photographs. Monfries, in an effort to get a picture of the skyline for Instagram, misstepped and fell over 30 feet to her death. 

2. That Night 

Monfries and her friends made it up to the belltower much later on in the evening. Prior to their collegiate hijinks, the band of friends went out to dinner together to celebrate. At the restaurant where they dined, they were actually served by another Fordham student, who happened to be roommates with another friend who was having dinner with the group.


The New York Post asked this server whether or not he believed the group was drinking, but the server couldn't speak to that question at this time. He was able to provide a bit of color detail about what all the atmosphere was like that night. "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," reported the server. 

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3. The Final Snapchat

After Monfries and her friends finished dinner at the restaurant, where they ate barbeque food, they eventually made their way as planned over to the belltower. Sydney was reportedly vocal about getting a great shot of the city skyline to post on her Instagram account, but before she attempted to take that picture, she shared another video. 


In a video posted just minutes before Monfries fell to her death, she shared a video of herself and her friends climbing up the clocktower. Just 40 seconds long, the clip was entitled "the clock tower" and shows Monfries and her friends' giddy ascent to the very up. It also paints a vivid picture of just how dangerous this stunt really was. 

4. The Paramedics Struggle

According to the friends who were gathered, Sydney lost her footing and plummeted down to the bottom of the tower. A friend at the scene rushed to her side and found that she not conscious and that she was having a very difficult time breathing. That's when the paramedics were called, they made their way to the clock tower in the small hours of the morning. 


At the same, the paramedics were initially stymied by the narrow confines of the tower. You see, when Sydney fell, after misstepping, she plummeted down in the space in the middle of the spiral staircase. It was difficult for the paramedics to access her due to the narrowness of the space. She was flown immediately to the hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival. 

5. A Rite Of Passage 

According to other students at the university, climbing the clock tower is an important rite of passage, particularly for graduating seniors. It's not exactly an activity that the school encourages, but they have been aware of it going on and it has reportedly never caused a problem until now. 


'Recently people heard the door was open or found a passageway. They usually go late at night at around 1 or 2 am to drink and see the view,' said a student named Priscilla Morales to The New York Times. Be that as it may, this is a rite of passage that now has become a dark and dangerous one. Sydney's parents, who live in Oregon, have yet to comment on their daughter's death. 

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. Her work focuses on relationships, pop culture and news. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr