A student is fighting for life after falling 40ft from a university bell tower where she had climbed to take photos for Instagram.

Sydney Paige Monfries, 22, is in an “extremely critical condition” following the 3am horror plunge at the Fordham University campus in New York City on Sunday morning.

It’s believed the senior, of Portland, Oregon in USA, was taking part in a dangerous rite of passage for some students who are set to graduate from the elite school.

But journalism student Sydney slipped on her way up to the top of the Keating Hall clock tower.

A student who was waiting tables at a nearby restaurant saw Sydney and her pals eating there just hours before the tragedy.

The 22-year-old Barn Yard Barbecue worker, who only gave his first name Dave, said: “She was with a group of friends. “They were like, ‘We’re seniors, let’s go!’“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.”

It is unclear if Syndey or her party had been drinking – but the waiter said the group left around an hour or two before the restaurant’s 4am closing time.

The tower is off-limits to students and supposed to be locked, according to the school. But Sydney and some pals sneaked in and were climbing its spiral staircase around 3 am when she tripped over some debris.

She tumbled down 40 feet – smashing the back of her head open, according to reports.

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