The Fordham university student who died after falling from a clocktower on campus had posted a Snapchat video of what has been described as a rite of passage for graduating students.
According to a report in the New York Times, Sydney Monfries had climbed to the bell and clocktower at Keating Hall with a group of friends early Sunday morning, who were taking photos and video. The newspaper reportedly obtained a Snapchat video taken by Monfries of the skyline from the top of the building, shortly before the fatal plunge.
It is not yet known exactly how many people were with Monfries at the time, or exactly how and when the accident took place – the 22-year-old journalism student is said to have fallen through a gab in a landing.
According to multiple reports, it is not unusual for graduating students to head to the clock tower as a kind of ritual.
“There’s the three things you have to do at Fordham,” Lili Huang, a 21-year-old senior, told the New York Times.
“You have to ride the ram … You have to go into the tunnels underground and you have to go into the bell tower.”
The friends had reportedly gone to dinner on Saturday night, and a student who waited on them told the New York Post that his roommate was in the group.
‘He told me some seniors [wanted to go] to the tower to take some pictures and have a good time before graduating,” the student, identified only as Dave, told the newspaper.
“They were like, ‘We’re seniors, let’s go!'”
According to a tweet from WNYC, authorities are investigating how the students were able to access the clocktower, as the building is supposed to be locked at night.