A University of Wisconsin senior is running for a campus-area city council seat, hoping to replace the current alder who’s pursuing a mayoral bid. 

Zach Wood is the first announced runner to fill the position that Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, has held for the past four years. Resnick is running against Madison Mayor Paul Soglin in the upcoming spring elections.

Wood said the student-relevant issues he’d most like to be involved in are public safety and affordable housing, highlighting his plans to improve lighting and increase funding for campus police.

“What’s the point of having a great downtown nightlife on State Street, as great as it is, if people don’t feel safe walking to and from it?” Wood said. “I live over in the Spring Street Neighborhood. Is it better lit than it was four years ago? Yes. Is it good enough? No.”

Wood said he would like to work on increasing access to affordable housing for students and increasing mid-level developments along with the current higher-end developments that are going up around the city.

“I’m not fundamentally opposed to the development, but we do need to ask ourselves, when developers say ‘This is a student high-rise, a student apartment building,’ there should be more question on can the average Badger afford this?” Wood said.

Wood, who is majoring in political science, is also pursuing a certificate in education policy studies. He is involved at UW as state vice chair of the College Democrats of Wisconsin and founder of I M Power, a nonprofit that works to increase civic involvement among young people.

Wood said through his involvement, he’s been impressed in how much people care and are involved in their communities.

“The people here now are going to be the future of the city, our future business leaders, our future community leaders, our future nonprofit leaders. … They deserve to have a greater voice in community policy,” Wood said.

Resnick said he hopes that the next District 8 alder is able to bring the same passion and leadership to the student body.