I thought I had found a way to keep the begging and clamoring of students desperately striving to get a spot in the already-full, first year Japanese class out of my hair. I got the idea to call the Registrar's Office and ask if I could have them create a waiting list for me, so if anyone dropped the class, the next person in line would automatically be added. The call went well. It seemed like it would be a possibility, but they just had to clear it with the higher authorities above me in the hierarchy.
The higher ups nixed it. I honestly just wanted to keep all the whining and begging to a minimum and to be able to send students somewhere else with it. But if the wait list were approved, then there would be an official record for demand for the class. And if there was too much demand and the admin had an official record of that, they would have a harder time justifying why no more sections were going to be created. They just want to nip it in the bud. I understand.
I'm getting better at getting the students to spare me their lobbying and just getting their names and contact info for the waiting list. I know they all really really want to study Japanese, but I can't say one's reasons are more important than another's. I can't create more sections of the class or more space in my classroom to accomodate them. It's just not within my power.
First come, first served. It's as simple as that.